Halloween is around the corner and DentFirst wants to make sure you keep your teeth healthy during an exciting time of year! For many children that means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for months to come. Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Here’s are some tips to keep your mouth healthy during a sweet time of year!
Time It Right
Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet.
Choose Candy Carefully
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for an extended time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Have a Plan
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest to your favorite charity.
Drink More Water
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that have fluoride in them.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. Many of these beverages are filled with sugar and increase the risk of tooth decay.
Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Clean Between Your Teeth
Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.