Halloween is fun, until you have a dental emergency.
The best way to avoid any dental problems on Halloween is to know what to watch out for when enjoying your treats. Dentistry at 1818 Market Street in Philadelphia put together this helpful guide for dental safe trick or treating.
Sticky candies like taffy and caramel stick to the surfaces of the teeth and pose a higher risk of tooth decay.
Drinking water and staying hydrated is always key to maintaining overall good health, including oral health. Staying hydrated helps you avoid dry-mouth and regulates regular saliva production. Saliva is needed to break down and wash away food particles stuck to your teeth.
Long-lasting candy that stays in your mouth, like jawbreakers and hard candy are not good for your oral hygiene. Because the candy stays in your mouth for a prolonged period of time, you have an increased risk of tooth decay.
Stay Away From Sour
Sour candies have additional acids which are extremely harmful to tooth enamel and cause it to breakdown more quickly.
Avoid Snacking on Sweets
Try to limit when you have your halloween candy to one time during the day, instead of picking on it throughout the day. Snacking on sweets increases one’s risk of cavities.
Eat a Meal First
It’s smart to have a healthy, well-balanced dinner before going out trick or treating, so you aren’t snacking on candy and filling your stomach with junk food. Eating a healthy meal before going out will help you control the amount of candy you’re eating and avoid the temptation to eat just candy all night.
Time Your Treats
The best time of day to eat candy is immediately after a meal. Saliva production increases for mealtimes so it’s best to take advantage of this and treat yourself to some sweets after you eat your meal.
If you are going to eat Halloween candy, chocolate is a good choice. It is soft enough to safely bite into and it melts in your mouth, so you don’t have to worry about it sticking to the surfaces of your teeth.
Chew sugar-free gum
The American Dental Association® (ADA) recommends chewing sugar-free gum after meals to help minimize plaque. Chewing gum causes the salivary glands to produce more saliva, which helps remove food particles and plaque from teeth. Consider giving out sugar-free gum instead of candy this Halloween.
Maintain Your Routine
A good regular maintenance routine is key to oral health. Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day and floss, especially on Halloween.
A Good Fit
Not all dental issues on Halloween are from candy. It’s important to make sure your costume fits well and is not causing a tripping hazard. All too often people trip and fall on their halloween costume and damage their teeth and/or mouth.
Don’t Save Candy
No one should eat all the candy they collect on Halloween – it’s just too much. So it’s good to have a plan for what you will do with the extra candy you get. Some people choose to donate candy and some dentists even have a candy collection program. Don’t store your Halloween candy for next year. It will be stale and hard, which is not good for your teeth. You want to avoid stale candy and only eat fresh, soft candy.
Don’t forget to have fun on Halloween and show off that beautiful smile!
If you’re in the center city Philadelphia neighborhood, stop by our dental office on Market Street for a dental-friendly Halloween treat.