Halloween and Teeth

It is that time of the year again! It is Halloween time! Halloween means bonfires, scary costumes, spirits, pumpkin carvings, movies and not to forget CANDIES! And where there is so much candy involved can cavities be far behind? Children love dressing up and going for trick or treats during Halloween. But it is important for parents to understand the connection between candies and cavities and ensure that their children have a safe and teeth friendly Halloween. 

The connection between candies and cavities 

Cavities are caused by the bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria feast on any food particles on the surfaces of the teeth and those stuck between the teeth. These bacteria love to eat sugar and when they do they release acids which cause cavities. Candies and other sugary starchy substances have more sugar and are easy to breakdown for the bacteria therefore dentists advise not to eat these sugary substances. Does this mean one has to totally give up eating candies? What fun will it be to celebrate Halloween without candies? Well the answer is no, you don’t have to give up eating candies but there are some things that you can do to safeguard your and your children’s teeth if you are aware of them. And this blog today is just for that. 

Here is what you can do  

  1. Eating candy is no issue if one takes care of the teeth before the candy can do much harm. It is ok to eat candies on Halloween provided you follow a strict oral hygiene routine every day (not just during Halloween but all year through). And that oral hygiene routine is brush for 2 minutes twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily and use a mouthwash.  
  1. As an additional precaution you can get the kids to brush their teeth as soon as they have had candies. 
  1. Another option is to regulate the number of candies kids consume. Keep some and give the others away. It will also inculcate the habit of giving in the kids. 
  1. Schedule timings when the kids are allowed to eat the candy. Don’t let them eat candy any time all day long and every day. Ideally club eating candies with meal times. This is because during meal times our mouths produce more saliva and this saliva negates the effects of the acids produced by the bacteria feasting on the candy. 
  1. Drink lots of water. More the water easier it is for getting the food and bacteria to be washed away. Stay away from sugar drinks for obvious reasons. Try to drink fluoridated water if possible. 
  1. Replace candies with sugar less gums. Chewing these gums especially after meals helps promote saliva production which neutralizes the acids produced by the bacteria. 
  1. There are a number of different kinds of treats and candies available to celebrate Halloween. A little knowledge about which ones do less harm than others can go a long way in protecting your teeth. 
  1. Avoid hard candies that need to be sucked for a long time. The more time they spend in the mouth more the chances of acids being produced by them that attack the enamel of our teeth. Biting hard on these hard candies can also lead to chipped tooth. 
  1. Avoid sticky candies like gummy bears, taffies, caramel sweets because they get stuck to teeth and are not washed away easily by the saliva in the mouth. In fact at times they stay stuck on the teeth even after a mouth rinse. 
  1. Sour candies are acidic in nature and they definitely harm the enamel of the teeth thereby making them more prone to cavities. 
  1. If you are going to indulge in that sweet pop corn then it is better to keep floss handy. The kernels of the pop corn tend to get stuck in the gaps between the teeth and not easy to dislodge with one’s tongue. 
  1. Chocolate candies are the safest bets amongst all kinds of candies. It is better than others because it can be washed away easily. Also among chocolates darker the chocolate lower the sugar content and the better it is. 
  1. Include the salty, nutty and low sugar snacks and treats like trail mixes, granola bars. 

Screen the candies your child brings home and choose the ones which will be more teeth friendly. 

  1. Involve your children and educate them about the harmful effects of candies on teeth. Make use of fun activities to make them aware or if need be take them for a visit to the family dentist and let him or her demonstrate what candy monsters can do to one’s teeth. 
  1. Ensure children eat a healthy diet  to offset all the candy being eaten. 
  1. Schedule a visit to the dentist post the holiday. The dentist can help clean the teeth better and professionally. 

Do not be alarmed, moderation is the key to enjoy Halloween without too much damage to the teeth. A little precaution and extra care in maintaining oral hygiene can do wonders and you can have a stress free Halloween with your family. We wish you and your family a very Happy Halloween. Don’t let the treats trick you this year.  

If you would like to know more call Ensure Dental Care (the family dentist near you) on 940-274-3229 to schedule an appointment. Ensure Dental Care is the one of the best family dental clinics at Saginaw Texas. We accept all major insurance providers. We also have in house payment plan. We have a very experienced team of dental practitioners and we look forward to serving you the best of our abilities.  

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