As the fall air descends and begins to bring in spooky chills and darker evenings, you and your family are probably starting to prepare for Halloween. Trick-or-treating is one of the most beloved American traditions, and no self-respecting dentist would tell you to skip out on the fun. However, approaching Halloween as a free-for-all of candy and sugar can leave your mouth feeling even more scared than you. Here are a few tips for preventing tooth decay and maintaining healthy teeth while still enjoying the fun this October 31st.
Keep it Spooky: Not Sticky
Some of the worst candy offenders are the gummy, sticky sweet treats. Indulgences like gummy worms, Sour Patch Kids, and nougaty chocolates tend to grab hold of your teeth and stay there for an extended amount of time. While your saliva eventually gets rid of these miscreants, they may have already done some damage to your enamel. It is best to avoid sticky candies as much as possible.
Tiptoe Around Sugary Drinks
As we said above, dentists don’t want to be spoilsports. You and your family will gather loads of candy on Halloween, and it would be almost sacrilege to tell you not to take a bite or two from time to time. However, try to limit your teeth’s exposure to sweets. If you’re indulging in your Halloween stash, stay away from sugary beverages for the day. Drink as much water as possible instead, which helps keep the pH of your mouth neutral and can contribute to your body’s own defense systems.
Stay Vigilant About Snack Times
It is tempting to go back to the candy bowl throughout the day, but constantly snacking on candy is not a good idea. Instead, let yourself or your children partake of the sweet goodness as a treat after mealtimes. Studies show that saliva production increases when you eat a meal, which can help wash away the acidic bacteria in your mouth and maintain oral health.
The American Dental Association’s webpage “Mouth Healthy” has some additional tips for Halloween and year-round. Of course, keep your daily oral hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing. If you need to schedule a dentist appointment, contact our office here for scheduling information.