Halloween is coming this Friday, kids are scrambling to decide what costume they’re going with while parents are busy perfecting their decorations & arranging their best of the block candy selection.
Although this is usually a day of sugary sweet candy overload, there are some ways parents & kids can help stop the cavity creeps in their tracks while still enjoying the occasion.
Deliciously decadent chocolate and candy treats dominate the day, but we don’t necessarily need to do permanent damage our teeth.
Halloween is also a good opportunity to tell (or remind) our kids that candy and other sweets can cause cavities…and what kid wants to go to the dentist?
Dental fear factor negative reinforcement tactics aside, let’s look at how we can all treat our teeth better this Halloween.
When we eat those sweet sugary treats, some of that sticky sugar stays in our mouths.
The bacteria present in our mouths actually consume this sugar which then produces an acid byproduct. It’s this acidic by-product that erodes our tooth enamel and contributes to tooth decay – and eventually cavities.
If we (kids or parents) continually snack on those super sugary treats, our teeth are constantly under siege from these cavity causing acids.
That’s why it’s best to have at the candy – and let our kids stuff their faces on Halloween – rather than devoting the following week to gorging on all the leftovers.
It’s not Thanksgiving yet!
So to help our teeth survive this candy acidic onslaught Halloween brings, nosh for a day or the weekend, then on Monday donate whatever is left.
Follow these five tips – courtesy of Walgreens – to help maintain healthy teeth and gums while still enjoying the delicious treats of Halloween.
Rinsing your mouth with water can remove sugar residue. Brushing your teeth after eating candy is also a good idea.
Saliva is produced during mealtime, thereby reducing the amount of sugar that remains on your teeth.
Some candies are more harmful than others. The worse candies for dental health are sour ones, which contain acids; chewy ones that stick on your teeth for a long time; and hard candies, which stay in contact with your teeth for a long periods of time and might even chip or break a tooth.
Binging on candy might disrupt normal, healthy eating habits. It’s important especially for children to eat balanced meals.
This is a good time of year to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning. Especially since dental insurance benefits EXPIRE at the end of every year!
Image Credit: Zombie Image by David Cowan