Today is Halloween, and kids everywhere are excited to go trick or treating. Parents, on the other hand, worry about the sugar intake ruining their kids’ teeth. What can you do to make sure they have a happy healthy Halloween? We have 12 Halloween dentist tips from the American Dental Association to help you out.
One piece of candy a day is not going to be a problem, but eating a lot of sugary treats leads to cavities. According to ADA dentist,Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, “Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet.” Be sure to limit candy intake!
Best Time to Eat Candy
There actually is a good time to eat Halloween candy: right after a meal. During meals, saliva production increases, and that saliva neutralizes acids. Bacteria feeding on the sugar from candy produces acid that rots teeth. So, the saliva both cancels out the acid and helps wash away food particles.
Pick the Right Candies
Hard candies like lollipops and other candies that dissolve stay in the mouth for a while. The longer they stay, the more they contribute to tooth decay. So, unless it’s a sugar-free sucker, skip it.
Like hard candies, sticky candy stays in the mouth longer. Even after swallowing the bulk of it, some sticky bits cling to teeth. Again, unless it’s sugar-free, it promotes tooth decay.
Pick Your Favorites
A bowlful of candy is a delicious temptation. It’s easy to reach into the bowl and pull out a treat every time you pass by. However, this leads to eating too much. Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty recommends having your family pick out their favorite candies and donating the rest.
Fluoridated water helps prevent tooth decay. While you have a stash of candy around, be sure to drink extra water. If you don’t have fluoridated water or prefer bottled, look for fluoridated bottled water. The extra water intake also helps clear food particles and prevent dry-mouth that cause tooth decay.
Avoiding Sugary Drinks
Sports drinks, energy drinks, sodas, and most flavored waters are full of sugar. Constantly drinking these beverages increases the risk of tooth decay.
This is more of an all-year-long tip but maintain a healthy diet. Eating healthy offsets that extra candy you might be having around this time of year. Your teeth benefit from healthy snacks just as much as the rest of your body.
Sugar-free gum is a great way to combat tooth decay. Chew a stick of ADA approved sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal to clear away food particles. The chewing helps produce saliva, which washes away hidden particles too.
Brushing Your Teeth
Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. And be sure to replace your brush every three to four months or as soon as you notice frayed bristles. A new brush and regular brushing clean teeth exceptionally well.
Flossing and Rinsing
Using floss and mouth rinses cleans between your teeth. These spots are difficult to reach with your toothbrush, making them prime decay points. Flossing to remove particles and rinsing to kill bacteria prevents decay.
Visit Your Houston Halloween Dentist
After all those tasty treats, be sure to visit your Halloween dentist for a checkup and professional cleaning. Your Houston dentist prevents problems from arising and treats any that do quickly. They’ll make sure your family stays cavity free!