The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the ghosts, ghouls, or goblins… it’s cavities! It’s the time of year where kids and adults alike indulge in plenty of sweet treats – probably more than they should. If you don’t take extra good care of your teeth, this Halloween could land you right in the dentist’s chair.
Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to ensure that this spooky season doesn’t trick you into getting a new cavity. All you have to do is follow these simple steps and you can enjoy Halloween without worrying about your teeth.
1. Eat before going trick-or-treating.
Just like how you shouldn’t go grocery shopping on an empty stomach, doing so on Halloween can result in kids and adults nibbling candy the whole time they’re trick-or-treating.
2. Limit how much candy you have in a sitting.
Eating an entire bag of candy in one sitting is obviously not good for you. Whether it’s you or your littles enjoying treats, be mindful of how much is being eaten. A few pieces after dinner is just enough to satisfy your craving without destroying your teeth.
3. Don’t graze.
Snacking on candy periodically throughout the day isn’t any better than eating a bunch all at once. Make sure the candy supply is stored in a place where nobody will be tempted to grab a piece every time they walk by.
4. Have kids earn their candy.
Implementing a “candy bank” is a good way to limit consumption and make sure your kids get their chores done at the same time. Assign each chore and candy a monetary value in pennies, and have your kids “buy” the candy they want from the bank.
5. Avoid sticky, sour, and hard candies.
These types of candy are particularly bad for your teeth. Sour candy is bad because it contains an enormous amount of acid, and that can do serious damage to your tooth enamel. Chewy candies like caramels or taffy can get stuck to your teeth and have even been known to damage braces or pull out cavities. Hard candies that are in your mouth for a long time are no good either, plus you could crack a tooth and have to get a dental crown
6. Drink lots of water.
Besides keeping you hydrated, water has the added benefit of washing away some of the sugar that candy leaves behind and ensuring your pH levels stay normal.
7. Chew sugar-free gum.
Chewing gum increases saliva production which helps wash away some of that nasty sugar. Your best bet is to look for a gum with the seal of approval from the American Dental Association. Choosing a gum with xylitol is an added bonus since xylitol can help shield teeth from acid.
8. Brush and floss as soon as possible after eating candy.
Chewing gum and drinking water help, but nothing’s better than a proper tooth brushing
and a good flossing. Bonus points for trick-or-treaters and parents who use a fluoridated toothpaste or mouthwash!
9. Donate excess candy.
Sometimes on Halloween, you end up with more candy than you could ever (or should ever) possibly eat. The good news is there are several programs that make getting rid of your extra candy easy. You can send candy to the military through Soldier’s Angels Treats for Troops
program or you can see if your local Ronald McDonald House
accepts candy donations. You can also check HalloweenCandyBuyBack.com
for additional donation options near you.
Finally, visiting the Wilmington, NC dentists at Salling & Tate is probably the best way to care for your teeth this Halloween. Plus, if you schedule your regular 6-month checkup for just after Halloween, your next checkup should be near Easter. That way, you’re getting a teeth cleaning right around the two biggest candy-eating holidays of the year. Contact us to schedule your appointment by calling 910-256-9040.