It’s that time of year again, when fall festivities and haunted happenings surround us. It’s spooky season, as we call it: Halloween! But before you dust off that pumpkin pail and throw on that costume, beware of danger. No, not from ghosts or goblins, but to your oral health. Halloween may be a fun and festive holiday for all ages, but it can also do terrifying things to our teeth. So, before you bite into that candy bar or attempt to nosh on that candy apple, here are a few tips to keep your fright night a little less frightening!
Protecting Your Teeth On Halloween
When you think of Halloween, many things come to mind. Costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, frightening decorations and of course candy. But when it comes to sweets, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. That’s why those candy bags and plastic pumpkins your kids bring home at night’s end can be such a fright! Between the hyperactivity of too much sugar and the threats to your oral health, Halloween candy can scare any parent.
While it’s OK to indulge in your Halloween haul in moderation, limit the sweet treats you have in one sitting and one day. One tip for controlling your candy consumption is to pick a time to enjoy a piece or two, so you’re not snacking throughout the day.
When choosing which sweets to eat, be sure to make intelligent choices. Not all candies are created equally. Sticky candies like gummies, hard candies, and even sour candies can be dangerous for your teeth. Instead, opt for softer options like chocolate, which are safer for your teeth and dental work and still taste delicious!
When you do choose to indulge in your Halloween plunder, be sure to accompany it with water. Water will help wash away bits of candy and sugar coating your teeth and keep your mouth hydrated so your saliva has a fighting chance of chasing away those spooky plaque acids that cause cavities.
Once you are done with your candy, be sure to keep up with your regular oral health routine. This includes brushing twice daily for at least two minutes at a time, flossing between every tooth at least once a day, and visiting Restore for regular exams. Be sure to wait at least 30 minutes after consuming candy to brush your teeth, as this will help protect your tooth enamel, which may have softened while eating acidic sweets.
If you can’t brush right away, choose to chew some sugar-free gum. When you chew sugar-free gum, you stimulate saliva production. Saliva helps rinse sugars and acids from your mouth, which could otherwise cause cavities and gum disease. When searching for sugarless gum, look for gums that contain products like xylitol, which is beneficial to oral health.
Another great way to set an example for your family and practice what you preach is to hand out non-candy alternatives. Stickers, temporary tattoos, pencils, novelty erasers, glow sticks or any other small trinkets are great alternatives to candy that won’t harm the teeth or cause dangerous allergic reactions in sensitive children.
Furthermore, take into account the importance of watching your surroundings while trick-or-treating. Walking in the dark can be a recipe for disaster, especially with bulky costumes, obstructive masks and uneven pavement. Thus, it’s essential to ensure your family has bright flashlights or glow sticks to help them walk safely throughout the neighborhood so they don’t trip and fall and sustain injuries.
Remember, Halloween is supposed to be fun, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to teach your children about the importance of moderation and oral hygiene. Educating your family about the importance of proper oral health care during times of temptation by sugary sweets will help instill in them a sense of responsibility and promote good health and well-being.
Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dentist This Halloween
Halloween is fun for all ages, but you must maintain a healthy balance between indulging and hygiene. Please encourage your children to follow the tips above and participate in your family’s rules so they follow your good example.
Finally, don’t be afraid to schedule a checkup at Restore. Your exam and cleaning can warn you about any potential frights lurking in your family’s mouths and stop them in their tracks.
If you’re ready to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Restore Dental today for more information!