Halloween is a major event for children and adults, alike. From spooky outdoor decorations and neighborhood celebrations to the perfect costume and treats that will please even the most picky kids, Americans will spend billions this year. This holiday is “tricky” for dentists, though. We want our patients to enjoy Halloween, but we also want them to be mindful of how holiday treats can affect their teeth. When you’re buying candy in bulk or diving into your child’s candy stash, here are some things to consider this Halloween:
- Avoid sour gummies! The sour flavor that kids (and adults) love comes from citric acid. Citric acid weakens your tooth enamel. As if that weren’t bad enough, the sticky candy beneath the sour layer tends to get stuck in between and in the grooves of your teeth. This double-punch creates the perfect breeding ground for plaque.
- Consider “treats” that can’t be eaten. Temporary tattoos, glow sticks, spider rings, and pencils can be enjoyed long after the candy is gone. Better yet, they won’t cause tooth decay.
Try savory instead of sweet. Peanuts, popcorn, and beef jerky are all available in snack-sized packages. Even the biggest sugar fiends enjoy a reprieve from candy every once in awhile.
- Determined to hand out candy? Try chocolate. Unlike gummy and hard candy, chocolate requires less chewing because it gradually melts in your mouth. If you really want to be health conscious, hand out dark chocolate; it has less sugar and is loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants.
- Don’t skip out on dental hygiene. When sugars are hanging out on your teeth, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss. If a toothbrush isn’t within reach, then drinking water will help remove food particles from your teeth. If sour treats have been enjoyed, wait 20-30 minutes before brushing to give your enamel time to recover.
At Dental Solutions of Mississippi, we enjoy Halloween as much as our patients; we just want your teeth to be as healthy as possible. If you’re worried that a sugar binge has taken a toll on your dental health, contact our office today to schedule an appointment.