Halloween is a time for scary movies, pumpkin patches, and sweet treats. At Ashley Dental, we want you to be able to enjoy the holiday, and the candy that comes with it. Earlier this month we shared a round up of our favorite dental care tips to commemorate National Dental Hygiene Month, so it’s our belief that as long as you’re following good dental practices for the majority of the year, it’s okay to enjoy some sweets every now and then. To ensure you’re still looking out for the health of your teeth, we wanted to share some special tips that will allow you to enjoy your treats while avoiding long lasting damage and decay.
Make Mealtime Count
You may be focusing on the candy in the bowl, but don’t forget about your mealtimes! Eating a well balanced meal prior to having some candy will prevent you from gorging yourself on sweets alone. Consuming candy in moderation won’t only save your teeth, but it will also spare you a stomachache later on.
Another reason why you should eat a meal before reaching for a sweet dessert is that saliva production increases when you eat a full meal. Saliva helps to wash away excess plaque and debris, which can assist in protecting your teeth against the sugar in candy.
Be Choosy With Your Candy
If you choose to indulge, make sure you’re eating only your absolute favorite candies. Being picky with what you choose to eat can spare you unnecessary damage to your teeth. Here’s a breakdown of the impacts that certain candies can have on your oral health:
- Chocolate: Chocolate lovers rejoice! Out of all the candy in the trick-or-treating bag, chocolate is the easiest to remove from the surface of the teeth. Of course, chocolate should still be consumed in moderation to avoid tooth decay.
- Sour Candy: Sour candy tends to be acidic which can damage the enamel of the teeth. Enamel, though strong, is unable to repair when it’s been damaged, so sour candy should only be consumed in limited amounts.
- Hard Candy: Even though sucking on hard candy increases saliva production, the saliva in this instance can actually cause harm to your teeth. This is because the sugar in the candy infiltrates the saliva and then washes over your teeth. Hard candy can also potentially break your teeth, so it’s important to be careful when eating it.
- Sticky Candy: If you don’t absolutely love sticky candies like taffy or gummies, then it’s best to avoid them. Sticky candy is the most difficult to remove, even after brushing and flossing.
Avoid Unnecessary Sugars
If you celebrate Halloween with a couple pieces of candy, try and wash your sweets down with water or milk instead of soda and juice. Soda and juice are both acidic and high in sugar, making them quite damaging to the teeth and the teeth’s enamel. If you choose to eat candy, then try and steer clear of other sweet drinks to avoid overloading your teeth with damaging sugars.
You may be tempted to nap as soon as your sugar crash kicks in, but it’s crucial that you brush and floss well before you go to sleep! If you fall asleep after eating candy, the bacteria in your mouth and the sugar from the candy can contribute to creating a build up of plaque that leads to tooth decay.
From all of us at Ashley Dental, we wish you a fun and safe Halloween! Enjoy your candy, but don’t forget to brush!