Here at Bowen Legacy Dental, we want to wish you a Happy Halloween! Although it’s common knowledge that sugar and candy aren’t good for your teeth, you shouldn’t have to miss out on this holiday’s traditions for the sake of your smile. Instead, Dr. Bowen and Dr. Gehlert have some great suggestions for participating in the trick-or-treating fun this Halloween without causing long-lasting damage to your teeth or health:
- Eat a healthy and filling meal before you begin trick-or-treating. Shortly after mealtimes, you experience an increase in saliva production, which can help to cancel out the damaging acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, eating a hearty meal will help you resist the temptation to fill up on candy.
- Pack a water bottle. Drinking water helps to rinse away the sugar that can accumulate in your mouth. When sugar lingers in the mouth, it feeds harmful bacteria, which in turn causes tooth decay. Therefore, you should always carry along a water bottle and encourage your children to drink up when they’re trick-or-treating.
- Check the labels of your candy. There are certain ingredients you should always avoid when you’re consuming candy. Corn syrup, even when consumed in moderation, is closely associated with heart disease, obesity, cancer, dementia, liver failure, and tooth decay. You should also try to avoid artificial coloring in your candy—in particular, Red 40, Yellow 6, and Yellow 5. These dyes, many of which are already banned in European countries, have been proven to contain carcinogens. Be a smart consumer and make sure to avoid any candies with these ingredients! If you don’t want to be wasteful, try looking up “Halloween candy experiments” to repurpose leftover candy for a fun and educational experience.
- Choose your candy wisely. Certain types of candy can be much more damaging to your teeth. You should always try to steer clear of sour, chewy, and hard candies. Instead, opt for chocolate or candy sweetened with xylitol. Chocolate does not stick to the teeth like chewy candies might, so it doesn’t have the same damaging effects. And xylitol, a popular alternative to sugar, has actually been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes cavities.
- Brush and floss as soon as you get home. By brushing immediately after consuming a sweet treat, you can minimize the damage on your oral health. Make sure you floss, too—bacteria tend to hide between the teeth.
Like everything else in life, it’s important to consume candy in moderation. With these tips in mind, you’re equipped to make smarter choices if you go trick-or-treating this week. If you have any questions or want to schedule a post-Halloween cleaning, give Bowen Legacy Dental a call today!
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