Oral Health and Halloween
Watch out! It’s almost Halloween! Temporary Halloween stores are springing up, yards are decorated with ghoulish décor, and our day of sugar coated indulgence without guilt is almost here. Everywhere you look, there’s your favorite candy or chocolate wrapped in scary yet appealing packaging, always tempering you to grab another.
As delicious as that candy is though, it is also packed full of teeth harming ingredients like SUGAR. So much sugar. But you know us, we wouldn’t ask you to skip Halloween candy! Heck we won’t be skipping halloween candy but here are some practical tips to help you maintain your oral health while still enjoying the holiday.
Halloween Dental Tip #1: Sort your Bounty
When you are raiding your five-year-old’s candy bag at 2 in the morning, separate the stack into two parts. Place the taffy, the caramels, the gummy bears, anything that is sticky, chewy or sour into the first pile. All of the other candy goes into the second pile. And then never eat from the first pile!
Dental cavities have a proven cause-and-effect relationship with extended exposure to sugary or sour substances. Oral bacteria thrives in this environment and converts these substances to acid that can, in turn, will lead to cavities.
Watch your family’s consumption of these sweet treats during this season. A great tip is to leave the candy wrappers in a visible area so that you remember how many of these teeth hating candies you’ve eaten.
Halloween Dental Tip #2: Go Sugar Free
Chew sugar-free gum to help you ration your sweet intake. Ingredients like Xylitol and Sorbitol, low calorie sweeteners found in some gum, can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Research has shown that these sweeteners starve destructive bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish minerals to your teeth.
Halloween Dental Tip #3: Talk to your Kids about Oral Health
Blame it on us, but now is the perfect time to reinforce those healthy dental habits with the kids. Remind the kids that eating that extra piece of candy means spending extra care on their dental routine each night.
This is also a great time to reinforce the twice-a-day brushing routine and the daily ‘oh-so-dreaded flossing’ regime. Turn it into a scary story and explain all the “monsters” that live in their mouth and want to feed on leftover food and sugar. Keep it light though – we wouldn’t want to scare them too bad.
Halloween Dental Tip #4: Remove the Evidence
The most ideal scenario would be to brush after the consumption of candy. If that’s not possible, then encourage your child to eat the candy within a few minutes instead of snacking throughout the day, and then wash away some of the sugar by drinking a glass of water.
Halloween Dental Tip #5: Schedule that Appointment
If you haven’t already, make the appointments for yourself and your whole family with the Center for Implant and General Dentistry. When doing our annual check up we can deep clean your whole mouth as well as check for any potential causes for concern, saving your time, money and pain later!
Halloween is a great time of year and we want you to enjoy it. Eat some candy! Have some fun but don’t forget about your oral health this halloween.