Dentists don’t hate candy, but they aren’t big fans of tooth decay either. Following a few simple guidelines will help you enjoy your Halloween bounty and keep a healthy mouth.
Here are some healthy Halloween tips from the Idaho State Dental Association, shared by Dr. Shepard, DDS:
- Consume Halloween candy with meals – Saliva production increases during meals, neutralizing acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and helping rinse away food particles.
- Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in the mouth for a long time – Candies that need to be sucked down for a long period of time subject teeth to prolonged acid attack, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth – Taffy and gummy bears take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Better to eat two pieces at once than separately over the day – It is the frequency that is the most important factor in tooth decay, not the quantity. This helps limit exposure to acids that are left on teeth after eating.
- Brush daily: 2 minutes, 2 times a day – Now more than ever, it’s important you brush a minimum of twice a day for two minutes. This can save you from severe tooth pain later.
Tips for Kids with Braces:
Braces don’t mix well with some kinds of candy—chewy treats can damage braces and lengthen treatment time. But that doesn’t mean children with braces have to miss out on the Halloween fun. Here are some special tips for those who have braces this Halloween:
- Kids with braces can still enjoy soft, easy-to-chew treats such as: melt-in-your-mouth chocolates, peanut butter cups, etc.
- Rinse, brush, and floss after your Halloween outings. This should dislodge any candy stuck in the braces. This is also a great tip for everyone, not just someone with braces.
- Make treats that everyone can enjoy. You can find several dental-friendly recipes and resources online.
Not Every Halloween Treat Has to Be Sweet:
- Looking for a candy alternative? The American Dental Association teamed up to help teach kids of all ages about good oral hygiene. Check out www.stopzombiemouth.com for fun freebies like printable zombie masks, coloring pages, and more! It’s a fun alternative to candy, and it’s free!.
For more dental-friendly tips, please visit the Idaho State Dental Association’s Facebook page or visit your local dentist.
- Follow the ISDA on twitter: @The_ISDA
- Like the ISDA on Facebook: Idaho State Dental Association