Healthy Halloween Tips (From an Experienced Dentist)
Halloween is our favorite spooky time of year, but when it comes to the effects of sugar on your teeth, all that candy can be downright scary.
The reason sugar is bad for our teeth is that it feeds harmful oral bacteria, which excretes acid. That acid then erodes enamel and leads to tooth decay.
So, how can we keep our costumed Halloween adventures clear of tooth decay? Try these healthy Halloween tips!
Healthy Halloween tips
1. Ranking Halloween candy
Very few houses give away treats like sugar-free xylitol gum, so the chances are slim that your child’s candy will be healthy.
However, some types of sugary candy are worse than others and present different kinds of problems. Here is a guide to help you rank Halloween candy:
- Hard candy is a problem because there’s a risk of breaking our teeth if we chew it. And sucking on it isn’t safe either because that means you are holding a source of sugar in your mouth for an extended period.
- Sour candies are like a double attack against dental health. Not only do they contain a lot of sugar to feed the bacteria, but they are also highly acidic, which can harm your enamel directly!
- Sticky or gummy candy is especially bad for teeth because it remains stuck there, feeding the bacteria for a long time and giving them a larger opportunity to attack the enamel.
- Chocolate is the least harmful sugary candy. It doesn’t stick to teeth like most other candies, and the cocoa in it has many beneficial properties. The darker the chocolate, the less sugar it will have so aim for dark chocolate.
2. Reduce the quantity of candy
Being picky about which types of candy we eat is one way to reduce the risk of tooth decay, but an even better way to do that is by simply eating less candy.
As parents, we can help our children with this by coming up with a plan before trick-or-treating time. We could let them trade the bulk of their candy haul for a non-candy prize or limit the number of houses they visit.
We just need to make sure to discuss the plan with them in advance.
3. More tooth-healthy strategies
There are a few other Opens new tab to article on more tipssimple things you can do to reduce the dental effects of all that Halloween candy, such as:
- Drink more water to rinse out the sugar
- Limit the frequency of candy consumption more than the quantity
- Wait thirty minutes after eating candy to brush your teeth. The reason for that last one is that it takes your saliva about half an hour to stabilize the pH of your mouth after eating sugar.
Keeping teeth healthy year-round
The Halloween season will come to an end, but the job of keeping your teeth healthy is never done!
Make sure you always brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, keep sugary treats to a minimum, and schedule regular dental visits!
We hope these healthy Halloween tips help you and your family have a fun and worry-free celebration.
If you have any questions about your or your child’s dental health, you can always contact us at The Gorman Center for Fine Dentistry: