Halloween can be both a fun and a scary holiday, especially for dental professionals like us. We love hearing from our patients and seeing pictures of them in costumes.
While we appreciate that kids (and many adults) enjoy the abundance of candy available at this time of year, we also have concerns about how this could affect your oral health.
That’s why today, we are offering a few tips to help keep your healthy smile this Halloween and for many Halloweens to come.
Make A Plan
Before your family begins your annual candy collection, sit down with your kids to discuss what you are going to do with that candy. This can help reduce the risk of eating too much, and it may provide you with less temptation in the weeks that follow.
Coming up with a plan can make things easier after the piles of candy arrive in your home.
First, discuss a limit on how much candy can be eaten in a day. We understand that many kids would love to just eat candy until they are full, but setting limits together can make it easier for them to follow through on the plan.
Second, give some of the candy away. You would probably agree that your family does not need all the candy that your kids bring home after their big night out. A quick internet search can help you find organizations that collect candy to share. One option is Operation Gratitude, which sends candy to military personnel who are stationed overseas.
Watch What You Eat
To be clear, eating candy isn’t healthy. We all understand that, but some candies create bigger problems than others.
Sticky and sour candies are popular with many kids. Gummies and caramels are more likely than other sweets to stick to teeth or get stuck between teeth. That’s good for cavity-causing bacteria. Sour candies often contain acids, which can weaken the enamel of your teeth, making them more vulnerable to problems.
Milk chocolate and pretzels can be better options. Milk chocolate can be cleaned off teeth easier, and pretzels don’t have the acidity of many candies.
If your kids like dark chocolate, that can have some benefits. Dark chocolate has antioxidants, which make it harder for bacteria to cling to teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol can help, too. This can encourage the growth of non-acidic bacteria, which can reduce the risk of decay.
Drink Water & Brush Your Teeth
If your kids eat candy, it’s a good idea to eat it after a meal. With saliva is already present, it’s easier to remove candy particles from their teeth. That’s also why it’s a good idea to drink water while eating candy. The water can help rinse candy from teeth.
Likewise, brushing your teeth and flossing shortly after eating candy can remove sticky substances as well.
And Remember To Visit Us
Whether it’s Halloween or any other time of year, regular visits to our family dentist can prevent and treat small issues before they become big problems. To request an appointment, fill out our online form or call 253-999-9419 to reach Smith & Wetterhus Dentistry.