Do you know what is scarier than witches or warlocks? Cavities! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children ages 6 to 19. Adding a pumpkin-shaped bucket full of Halloween candy into the equation certainly does not decrease the risk of tooth decay! However, it is still possible to enjoy Halloween and keep your beautiful smile cavity-free. Here are 5 tips from a dentist in Brownstown on how to enjoy a happy, healthy Halloween.
It’s OK to be picky
Almost all Halloween candy contains high levels of sugar, but some treats are more dangerous for your dental health than others. To protect your teeth, try to limit your intake of these types of candy:
- Hard candies and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time
- Sticky candies like taffy and gummy bears that cling to your teeth and take longer be washed away by saliva
Reach instead for chocolate or powdery candies that dissolve quicker in your mouth and thus present less of a tooth decay risk.
Snacking on Halloween candy throughout the day can increase your risk of cavities. A healthier strategy to consume the Halloween candy your family has collected is to eat it alongside meals or shortly afterward. Saliva production increases when you eat a meal, which helps rinse away bits of food and cancel out any harmful acids in your mouth.
Keep Sugar Away From Your Teeth
The longer sugar stays in contact with your teeth, the more damage it can do to your smile. Keep sugar away from your teeth by:
- Brushing your teeth and flossing soon after eating sweets
- Taking sips of water between bites of candy to help wash away excess sugar particles
- Chewing sugarless gum after eating candy to stimulate saliva production and clean your mouth
Share the Sweets
Put a smile on someone else’s face by sharing your family’s Halloween spoils. Charitable organizations such as Operation Gratitude send candy donations to troops overseas, while many dental practices will exchange new toothbrushes for Halloween candy as part of candy take-back programs. Of course, you can always check with your local soup kitchen or homeless shelter to see if they accept candy donations as well.
Visit Your Dentist this Fall
Visiting a family dentist in Brownstown this fall for a routine checkup and cleaning can help prevent cavities from forming in your mouth. Catching dental issues in the early stages can help prevent them from developing into larger, more serious problems later on.
Halloween is always a spooky season, but you don’t need to be frightened when it comes to your oral health! Just follow the 5 tips above for a “spooktacular” and healthy holiday.
About the Author
Dr. Sammi Hadad has provided quality, compassionate dental care at Ultimate Dental for almost 20 years. A proud graduate of the University of Detroit Mercy Dental School, she enjoys serving individuals and families in the same community in which she grew up. Patients new and old can contact Dr. Hadad through the Ultimate Dental website or by calling the office at 734-479-4600.