Halloween is only a couple of weeks away and as parents we can already envision the scene unfolding:
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that overindulging or overloading on candy is a celebration for oral bacteria. The bacteria in our mouths live for dining on the sugary sweets that we engorge, producing scaffolding to live on, and producing acids that erode and weaken our enamel, causing cavities. Thus, the less exposure to refined sugars and carbohydrates, the better the health and beauty of our pearly whites. There are several ways to help enjoy the festivities of Halloween while reducing these ill effects on our smile. Here are a couple of hints:
- Send the kids out to trick or treat after eating a balanced dinner so that their full stomachs will help reduce overindulging on their candy stash.
- Drink lots of water (fluoridated) to help stay hydrated in addition to helping rinse the teeth of excess debris and fortifying them with fluoride.
- Chewing xylitol gum after eating candy will help remove some of the sweet sticky substances left behind, in addition to neutralizing acids produced by cavity-causing plaque.
- Brushing and flossing after partaking in chocolates, gummies, and other sweets is an absolute necessity to clean the teeth from sticky leftovers.
- Consider donating three fourths of the candy to soldiers overseas and keeping one fourth of the candy for special treats and rewards.
- When having a sugary treat, consumption should be after a main meal as saliva production will be at its peak and will assist in breaking down food particles and bacteria.
Remember, moderation is key, and yes, this includes you too, parents!
Please remember that good and sensible daily oral care habits lead to happier ghosts and goblins and many great Halloweens to come. It’s never too late to start on a healthy oral regiment for you and your family – don’t wait until Halloween to crack the broomstick!
We wish you and your family a happy and safe Halloween!