The Trick to Treating Your Teeth Right: 5 Tips to Navigate Halloween Candy
It’s spooky season, and with that comes the enormous piles of Halloween candy tempting you and your kids. But what’s scarier than the significant amounts of sugar your children (and you!) may consume is the increased risk of tooth decay. These temptations require you to be more diligent with your oral health.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial during this time so you can continue preventing cavities. You don’t have to give up your favorite sweet treat altogether! Instead, learn how to navigate the copious amount of Halloween candy around your house by following these tips from the best dentist in Dallas, Texas!
Tips for Navigating Halloween Candy
Your oral health is directly linked to overall health, so you don’t want to overload your system with sugary treats. While you don’t have to throw all the caramel and peanut butter delights into the trash can, there are several tips you should consider to maintain good oral health during this spooky season.
1. Choose Halloween Candy Wisely
While most candy has significant amounts of sugar, some types are more harmful to your teeth than others. Sticky candies, for example, can linger on your teeth for long periods. This stickiness allows bacteria to feed on the sugar, creating dangerous acid that attacks your smile.
Top candies you should avoid this Halloween include:
- Gummy bears
- Sour patches
- Tootsie rolls
You can limit the sugar contacting your teeth and still enjoy your Halloween treats by choosing chocolate or powdery candies that dissolve quickly.
While enjoying your candy, frequently sip on water to wash away additional sugar. Finish hard candies quickly rather than sucking on them for too long. Overexposure to acids in the oral cavity can cause your teeth to break down, leading to cavities.
Surprisingly, chewing gum is one of the best Halloween treats. It stimulates additional saliva that helps prevent plaque-causing bacteria from attacking your mouth. Choose sugar-free varieties that contain xylitol to help reduce acid and bacteria that cause tooth decay.
Although brushing your teeth will always be the best solution, chewing gum can help prevent the adverse effects of having too much candy.
2. Time It Right
Forbidding candy from coming into your home only makes it more desirable for your family. However, you don’t want anyone in your home to suffer from a belly ache.
“Timing is everything” is a famous saying that even applies to eating your Halloween goodies. Avoid randomly snacking on sugary treats throughout the day. Instead, couple your snacks with, or shortly after, eating a meal.
Your body produces more saliva when you are eating a complete meal. Additional saliva helps protect your teeth by washing away remaining sugar and food particles. This moisture helps eliminate cavity-causing acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.
Encourage your family to pick out a few pieces of candy they can have after their meal. Put the rest back for another night, or after another meal.
3. Stay Hydrated
Most people know that drinking fluoridated water helps prevent cavities. However, it also helps rinse away any sugar your saliva may miss. Drinking water dilutes the acid in your mouth, stopping it from destroying your enamel.
Avoid drinking sugary drinks because they make your dental issues worse. Sports drinks, soda pop, and some flavored waters are highly acidic and lead to an increase in cavities. They also leave sugar behind to eat away at your pearly whites!
4. Don’t Forget to Brush
Increased sugar means you may need to brush your teeth more frequently. Your regular oral hygiene routine should consist of brushing twice daily. This routine eliminates any bacteria you’ve accumulated throughout the day.
Ideally, you should brush away the sugar 30–60 minutes after eating candy to reduce your risk of tooth decay. Remind your kids to brush their teeth, too!
5. Flossing Matters
Daily flossing plays a vital role in your oral health. When you skip it, plaque can accumulate between your teeth and along your gum line, increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing between your teeth a minimum of once daily eliminates hidden food particles and plaque.
We don’t associate Halloween candy with bad breath, but it can happen when sticky treats get trapped between your teeth. Flossing reduces your chances of having foul-smelling breath. If you need help with flossing, watch this video from the American Dental Association.
Avoid Tricks From Your Treats This Halloween
Your Halloween doesn’t have to be filled with pumpkins and apples only. You can still enjoy your favorite candy—in moderation. Remember to choose wisely, stay hydrated, and practice good oral hygiene. By following these tips, you won’t have to deal with the toothaches that often follow.
Share this information with your family and friends so they can safely enjoy their favorite Halloween snacks.
Stay on top of your oral and overall health this fall. Contact Dallas Cosmetic Dental to schedule an evaluation with our talented dental professionals.