The trick to enjoying your treats this Halloween may be easier than you think! Many parents are concerned about their children’s teeth during this candy-filled holiday, but we hope to provide you with some tips for keeping teeth healthy during Halloween.
‘Stick’ with Chocolate
When it comes to cavities, not all are created equally. When deciding what kind of treats to indulge in this Halloween, we recommend ‘sticking’ to candies that are not sticky, hard, or gummy. Things like gum, taffy, toffee and jawbreakers tend to linger on and in your teeth for longer and are more difficult to brush or floss away. The longer the sugar stays on your teeth, the more opportunity for cavities to develop. Instead, opt for caramel-free chocolate categories. Chocolate melts quickly and turns into liquid between your teeth, making it easy for brushing and flossing away the remnants. In general, chocolate won’t stay on your teeth for more than a few seconds. Some of our favorites are:
- Milk-Chocolate Hershey Kisses
- Dove’s Dark Chocolate
- Caramel-free Lindor Truffles (slightly more expensive, but well worth the variety!)
Set Aside Time to Go to Candy Town
Growing up, you may have had a bowl of leftover Halloween candy sitting on your piano, dining table, or kitchen counter. Every time someone walked by, they would snack on a piece. Throughout the day, you may eat an entire bowl of candy without even noticing (and without cleaning your teeth in between). When keeping your teeth healthy during Halloween, setting aside a specific time to enjoy your candy is essential. The American Dental Association recommends eating your candy stash (no, not all of it) during or right after your mealtimes. The reason is that as you eat, your mouth produces more saliva that aids in washing away sugar residue. In addition, it is easier to remember to brush your teeth after a meal than it is to try to remember after each time you snack on a treat throughout the day.
Be a Picky Treater
You already know that keeping hard, gummy, or sticky candies in your treat stash is not a good rule of thumb for maintaining a healthy smile during Halloween. In addition to picking these ‘no-go’ candies out, also pick out candy that you dislike. Each family member should go through the pile and pick out a few of their favorite pieces. The more you keep excess candy around, the bigger chance that someone will eat it.
The ‘Trick’ to Dental Health
Thankfully, one night of eating candy is not going to impact your overall dental health severely. In addition to being conscious of these tips, it is essential to have a good dental routine at home for brushing and flossing and see your dentist at least two times each year for regular cleaning and exam. If you can’t remember the last time you saw your dentist, or you know you are due for a check-up, schedule an appointment with one of our fantastic providers. We wish you all a happy and safe Halloween!