Have fun this Halloween, but don’t forget to take care of your oral health.
It’s the season for candy, and if you have children, you’ll know just how excited your little ones will get at the prospect of trick-or-treating. While it’s fine to enjoy something sweet now and then, it’s important that you don’t neglect your family’s teeth and gums. Here’s how to make this Halloween as healthy as possible…
Choose your candy
While all candy contains cavity-causing sugar, it’s best to avoid hard candies and lollipops that stay in the mouth for long periods of time. The more time your teeth are exposed to sugar, the longer bacteria have to feed and multiply, and the higher the risk of decay. Also, chewing on hard candy and popcorn balls can cause damage to the teeth, such as chips and cracks. If your child has braces, you’ll want to avoid hard snacks altogether as they can cause some serious damage to orthodontic appliances.
It’s also a good idea to avoid very sticky candies as much as possible. Sticky sweets, like caramel, toffee and gummy bears, tend to cling to the surface of the teeth and are not easily washed away by saliva. This prolonged exposure of sugar to the teeth increases the risk of cavities. Rather choose candies that can wash off your teeth easily — chocolate, for example, tends to be easier to rinse off the surface of the teeth when compared to many other types of candy.
Save treats for after meals
Let your children enjoy their sweet treats after they have finished a meal — the saliva production in the mouth will have increased and will help to protect the teeth from bacteria and decay. It can also be helpful to sip on some water after eating in order to rinse away some of the sugar and leftover food particles from between the teeth and gums.
Say ‘no’ to soda
We all know that soda is packed with sugar, but it also tends to be acidic. For these reasons, sweetened sodas are a no-no when it comes to dental health. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water between eating their sugary snacks, as this can help to wash away food particles that can lead to the build-up plaque. Tap water also typically contains fluoride, which helps to strengthen the enamel of the teeth and protects against damage caused by acid.
Incorporate some healthy treats
While everyone loves chocolate and other candy, it’s also possible to add some healthy alternatives to your Halloween spread. If you’re hosting a party at home, try serving up some veggie sticks and hummus, celery sticks filled with natural peanut butter, deviled eggs, fresh fruits and cheeses cut into creative shapes. For a twist on traditional candied apples, try dipping yours in dark chocolate instead — while dark chocolate still contains sugar, it’s not as sticky as a caramel or candy coating.
Don’t neglect your oral health
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the Halloween festivities and indulging in a treat or two, but it’s important that you stick to good oral hygiene habits during this time. This means brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and flossing daily. We also recommend that you keep up-to-date with your regular dental visits so that we can identify and treat any issues as early as possible.
If you haven’t been in to see us for a while, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment. Our team understands the important relationship between your dental health and overall wellbeing, which is why we are dedicated to providing you and your family with the comfortable, quality and personalized dental care that you need.
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