Halloween is that one day of the year when we celebrate everything scary, spooky, or just plain weird. While many people love a good costume party and a night of trick-or-treating, the massive amounts of candy thrown around have long caused concern to dentists across the country. While the werewolves, vampires, and zombies among you are getting ready to bare their fangs this year, here are some pointers to help keep your smile beautiful for the rest of the year.
Avoid Snacking on Candy All Day
Your child’s haul this year might have their pillowcase ready to burst. The volume of candy might be even more massive if your kid is so clever as to have several costumes so they can hit the best houses more than once. However, consuming all this candy too quickly can be bad for the belly and the teeth.
The best way to mitigate the risks all this sugar poses to teeth is to consume candy shortly after meals. Saliva production increases while you eat, making it easier for the mouth to clean itself of all that sugary residue. You should also drink plenty of water when indulging in sugary sweetmeats.
Don’t Be Tricked by Your Treats
The most teeth-friendly candies available are chocolate and sugar-free gum. Chocolate can be easily washed from your teeth, and dark chocolate is an even better choice because it contains less sugar. Sugar-free gum is actually recommended by dentists after meals because it stimulates saliva flow, helping to clean away food debris and sugary residues while neutralizing some of the acid caused by harmful bacteria.
On the other hand, sticky and hard candies are the worst for your dental health. Sticky candies are harder to clean away from your smile. Biting down on a hard candy can chip or crack teeth. Consume these candies in moderation if at all.
Hand Out Some Non-Candy Treats
It’s lots of fun watching horror movies between handing out treats to trick-or-treaters, but you can give your local dentist a (disembodied) hand by ditching the candy for some alternative options. You can hand out small toys such as fun pencils, erasers, eye patches, fake spiders, glow sticks, vampire fangs, or (gasp) travel-sized tubes of toothpaste. These can also be lots of fun for kids with food sensitivities or allergies.
Your dentist wants you to have all the spooky fun you can this Halloween, but even vampires and werewolves need to take good care of their teeth if they want their fangs in biting shape for next year. Your local dentist thanks you for consuming and distributing these terrifying treats responsibly.
About the Author
Dr. Dinesh Patel earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the State University at Buffalo before completing a general dentistry residency at the Erie County Medical Center. He and his family built his practice in Waterford, PA with the promise of providing patients with family-friendly care for many years to come. Services include preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry. For more information on keeping your child’s fangs safe for next Halloween, contact his office online or dial (814) 923-4510.