Halloween is some people’s favorite holiday of the year. It’s easy to see why. In addition to dressing up in costumes, they get candy. Lots and lots of candy.
We hope you and your family have a great time this Halloween, whether you go to a family-friendly activity or you go trick-or-treating in your neighborhood.
We know that it wouldn’t be realistic for us to tell your kids not to eat any candy. Instead, we will offer some ideas for how your family can enjoy your candy harvest without risking your smiles.
We also hope you will schedule a visit to Tocci Dental Associates for a professional dental cleaning before the end of the year. You can contact our general dentist office in Wellesley, MA, by calling (781) 304-8172 or by filling out our online form.
Tips For A Happy Halloween
You know that your kids like candy (and you might like nibbling on a few pieces, too). But there is something else that eats sugary treats, too. It’s the bacteria that live inside your mouths. These bacteria create plaque, which can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
With that in mind, here are some ways you can keep your mouth healthier this Halloween.
▸ Avoid Sticky Situations
In this case, try to limit or avoid sticky candies. This includes gummies, caramels, chewy chocolates, and bubble gum.
Bacteria have more time to cause damage when those sugary foods cling to your teeth. Sticky sweets stay on your teeth longer, and they are harder to remove by brushing and flossing. Eating too many of these treats is like inviting bacteria to create cavities.
▸ Drink Water
When you eat sweets, it is a good idea to drink a glass water with fluoride at the same time. This can help in two ways. The water can rinse away small sugary particles.
Meanwhile, the fluoride helps to strengthen enamel, which can make your teeth stronger and more resistant to decay.
▸ Eat Sweets After Meals
After you have eaten, your mouth will already be producing saliva. That makes this a better time to eat sweets since saliva helps to remove smaller food particles from your mouth.
At the same time, you are going to be fuller after a meal, which means you will be less likely to overdo it on the candy.
▸ Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Look for sugar-free gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. These kinds of gum contain non-sugar based sweeteners such as xylitol.
This isn’t a substitute for brushing and flossing, but chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating other sweets can keep up saliva, which can help remove food particles from your mouth so they don’t stay stuck in your teeth.
▸ Don’t Eat Too Much Candy
This one may be obvious, but it’s worth reminding ourselves from time to time. One way you can do this is by talking to your kids before they start collecting candy.
Decide in advance how much candy they will keep. Talk about how much candy is too much to eat at one time, and try to come up with limits together.
Another way to control how much candy stays in your house (tempting both you and your kids) is to look for ways to share it. For instance, some Ronald McDonald Houses will accept unopened candy as a donation for families with kids who can’t go trick-or-treating. Please contact the location to find out if they accept candy donations before sending it, however.
Operation Gratitude is another option. They can include candy in care packages that they send to military personnel serving overseas.
Tips For Any Time Of Year
Halloween kicks off one of the most food-filled holiday seasons of the year. (Thanksgiving and Christmas aren’t far behind, after all.) So this is also a time to remind everyone to practice good oral health habits.
Brush your teeth twice every day for two minutes at a time. It’s important for everyone in your family to scrub their teeth on all sides. Then, brush their tongues when they are finished.
Floss every day, too. We know flossing is not on anyone’s list of favorite things. It is the most effective way to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and below your gumline, however.
And visit a general dentist, like Tocci Dental Associates, for professional cleanings twice a year. No matter how well you brush and floss, it’s still helpful to have a dental professional examine your mouth a couple times each year.