Halloween is coming up quick! Around 95% of American adults spend money on candy for various Halloween activities — meaning around 95% of American adults will see an increase in sugar consumption! While Halloween activities may look a little different this year, the treats we consume on the holiday and beyond can play tricks on our oral health.
Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to proactively protect your teeth this Halloween.
Remember That Not All Candy Is Considered Equal
And we mean more than just your personal preferences on sweet vs. sour, or chocolate versus gummy. When it comes to oral health, certain types of candy are more harmful than others. The stickier the candy, the higher the risk of tooth decay. Candy like gummy bears, Tootsie Rolls, Snickers, and Skittles can get stuck in all the nooks and crannies of your teeth — and even a super thorough brushing may not be able to get all of it. Try to decrease your consumption of super sticky candies and have more chocolate-based or more naturally sweetened candies.
While enjoying sweet treats, it’s essential to drink water throughout your snacking to help wash away all of the sugars in your mouth. Be sure to stick to water as a means to wash out your mouth. Drinking fruit juices, energy drinks, teas, or coffee will only add to the problem and create more buildup on your teeth and gums.
Eat Halloween Treats Only At Mealtimes
When you sit down to eat a meal, your mouth actually increases its saliva production, which helps control the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Take advantage of when extra saliva is present to help rinse your mouth out while enjoying your Halloween treats!
Balance Your Diet
To counteract the increase in sugar intake that typically occurs around Halloween, plan out your meals and snacks accordingly. If you usually drink a lot of sweet drinks throughout your day, switch to water to balance your sugar intake. Limit desserts or other not-so-healthy foods when you’re consuming more candy than you normally do. Increase the amount of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats to ensure your body is getting the right amount of nutrients it needs to function properly (this is always a good idea, not just at Halloween time!)
Always Brush And Floss
While this rule applies all year round, it’s even more important during the months when sugar intake increases. Make sure you brush your teeth a MINIMUM of twice per day for at least two minutes using ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Also floss once per day to help remove decay-causing bacteria from making a home between your teeth and around your gum line.
Halloween is a holiday that brings out the inner kid in all of us. It deserves to be celebrated and enjoyed! But it’s also a time when you have to be proactive in making your oral health a priority. From choosing your candy carefully and staying hydrated, to being more diligent in your daily oral care routine, if you follow these simple steps, the only thing you’ll have to fear this Halloween are ghouls and ghosts!
P.S. If you need your teeth cleaned or a tooth fixed during or after the Halloween season, reach out to us to schedule your appointment and keep your smile looking boo-tiful!