Halloween is just around the corner. With bags of free candy lying around the house, you can build a stockpile of sugary treats for the rest of the month. However, with all the excitement that Halloween brings, it also brings along a nightmare in the form of cavities and tooth decay.
Did you know that Americans spend around $9 million on candy each year, and most of this candy gets consumed by 41 million trick-or-treaters?
So, here are a few tricks that will help your family maintain good oral hygiene this Halloween and year-round.
Eat When the Time is Right
With heaps of candy present in your home, you might be tempted to grab one every now and then. But this unhealthy practice can increase the risk of cavities in your teeth.
Therefore, it’s important to only eat Halloween candy at certain times of the day, preferably with meals or right after meals. During meals, saliva production in your mouth increases, rinsing away food particle and acid-producing bacteria from your mouth.
Choose Your Candy Carefully
Apart from how often you’re snacking on candy, the length of time the candy stays in your mouth also affects your oral health.
Try avoiding hard candy and sweets that tend to stay in your mouth for a longer period. Sugary foods attract bacteria to your mouth, eventually leading to cavities and tooth decay.
Try Avoiding Sticky Situations
Chewy and sticky candies tend to cling to your teeth increasing the risk of tooth decay, as it takes longer for saliva to wash them away. So, stay away from candies like gummy bears and taffy this Halloween.
Eating candy on a dry mouth can be scarier than Halloween itself. With very little saliva being produced in your mouth, the remains of candy will be stick in your teeth for hours, making your mouth a magnet for bacteria.
Remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Fluoridated water can help strengthen your teeth reducing the chances of tooth decay.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after a sugary snack will help prevent tooth decay. It stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria and helps wash away the remaining candy particles.
Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss
Make sure you’re brushing after having a sugary meal. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush after 3–4 months, when its bristles start getting frayed.
Also, remember to floss at least once a day. Food particles get stuck between your teeth, where the toothbrush bristles are not able to reach. Flossing helps in removing food particles and plaque present under the gum line and between the teeth.
Staying away from candy is hard, especially on Halloween when all sorts of sugary treats are lying in the house. But with proper oral care and regular dental check-ups you can keep your oral health in perfect condition.