Halloween time is a fun time for all – cooler weather, festive costumes and candy found at every corner and event. However, sugar consumption without proper dental hygiene leads to tooth decay. So how can families balance this season?
Our experts here at Wildwood Dental are chiming in to say this time of year does not have to be scary.
By following the three dental hygiene tips for a healthy Halloween, parents can help prevent tooth decay for their trick or treaters while helping to instill good habits in the process.
Choose Your Candy Wisely
Not all Halloween treats are created equal. Encourage kids to eat candy that melts fast and can be eaten quickly. Toss or donate those gooey, sticky sweets that can linger on the teeth, allowing bacteria in the mouth to produce more acid and cause tooth decay. Remind kids after eating candy to brush their teeth, or at the very least, rinse their mouth with water. This will lessen the time the sugar is in direct contact with the teeth.
Avoid picking at candy throughout the day. Instead, hold back and use it as a post-dinner treat. After your children enjoy their sweet treat, brush and rinse to neutralize the sugar and acid production. If you are unable to brush or rinse, chew a sugar-free gum (or try one with xylitol). Gum can help increase salivary flow, which helps neutralize acids in the mouth.
Before Trick-or-Treating, Eat a Healthy Meal.
Before hitting the streets, fill up on a healthy meal. Having a good base will help provide less temptation to overdo candy consumption later.
Bonus tip: Purchase a fun, new toothbrush on Halloween for the final “treat” of the day!
Remember, candy is not necessarily the enemy, but it’s smart to choose your treats wisely so you aren’t tricked into needing an emergency dentist appointment later on.