Halloween is around the corner, and kids and adults alike are gearing up for the scariest night of the year. There are a number of things related to Halloween that one needs to take care of. From costumes and makeup to carving pumpkins and lighting bonfires, there is a lot to do. But, along with all the fun, Halloween is also associated with a number of dental problems.
Here are some tips to avoid them:
Brush After Eating Candy
We know it’s tempting to just brush off eating all that candy, but you need to brush your teeth right afterward! The longer sugar sits on your teeth, the more damaging it can be. If you allow that sugar to sit on your teeth for too long, it can lead to decay and even gum disease. Be sure to brush for at least two minutes with fluoride toothpaste to remove all the buildup from your teeth.
Floss Every Day
No matter how old you are, it’s important to floss daily. If you’re flossing properly—going between each tooth with slow, gentle sweeps—it should take about three minutes to floss your whole mouth. If you can’t commit to three minutes of flossing each day, try adding a two-minute song or a two-minute TV show break to your routine to make the task seem less daunting.
Avoid Sticky Candies
Sticky and chewy candies such as caramels or toffees can stick to your teeth and are difficult to remove with a toothbrush. This can cause tooth decay or cavities in your smile. Caramel apples are the worst treat for your teeth, as chewing on them can damage your enamel and allow bacteria to multiply. Even candy corn is one of the top candies to avoid on Halloween. It’s high in sugar and sticks to teeth! If you do indulge in sweets this Halloween, make sure to eat in moderation, brush after eating, and rinse with water to wash away sugar particles left on the teeth.
Avoid Hard Candies
Hard candy can cause tooth damage, even breaking teeth. Sticky sweets like caramel or gummy candies stick to the teeth and cause plaque buildup. This bacteria produces harmful acids that erode the teeth and cause cavities and tooth decay. Limit your intake of sugary treats this Halloween to help prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems.
The ADA recommends limiting the amount of added sugars in your diet by pairing healthy foods with healthier treats. For example, eat an apple instead of eating a whole bag of M&M’s. Water is also a great substitute for soda or other sweetened drinks. Try to limit juice consumption to no more than four ounces each day for children younger than six years old. For older children and adults, limit juice intake to one cup per day or less.
If you’ve recently had dental work completed, avoid snacking on hard foods for a few days to allow your teeth to heal.
Limit the Amount of Candy You Eat
Children and adults alike enjoy indulging in the sweet and sugary treats associated with Halloween. While it is okay to treat yourself to some sweets, make sure you do not consume too much sugar in one sitting or throughout the duration of the day. If you eat a large amount of sugary foods, your body cannot process it all at one time. This excess sugar turns into plaque on your teeth and causes tooth decay. Cavities are holes in your tooth enamel that can get infected easily if they are not treated quickly. Cavities can cause severe pain and even tooth loss if left untreated. Also, try to avoid sticky candies such as gummy bears and hard candies like lollipops because these do the most damage to your teeth. These candies stay in your mouth for a long time and cause more decay than regular chocolate because it stays in place for a long period of time. However, dark chocolate that has been eaten in moderation can actually be healthy for your teeth because it is high in antioxidants that can fight bacteria and infections in the mouth.
Drink Water After Candy
After eating sugary treats, it’s important to drink plenty of water to help rinse away any lingering sugar particles. Water also helps to wash away harmful acids that bacteria produce when feeding on leftover sugars in the mouth. Rinsing with water will also help to prevent tooth decay and cavities as it helps to remove food particles from the mouth. Drinking plenty of water every day can also help to keep teeth healthy and decrease the risk of tooth erosion.
To find out more about the dental services offered at Madison Park Dental, call (208) 356-5601 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 345 N. 2ND E., Suite 2, Rexburg, ID 83440.