Halloween is a favorite holiday for most kids and many adults as well. It’s one of the only times of year that gives people the perfect excuse to eat all the candy they desire. But all that candy can wreak havoc on your teeth, so it’s essential to learn how to care for teeth after Halloween. At Lovett Dental Northside, we want to help. Contact us today at 713-691-5551 to learn more about our cavity prevention strategies.
When It Comes to Good Oral Care, a Little Candy Is Okay
You don’t have to deprive yourself of all the candy your kids collect. It’s okay to treat yourself; however, you have to do it with oral care and cavity prevention at the top of your mind. So how is this done during peak candy-collecting season?
Before heading out, decide what you’ll do with the candy you collect. Here are some ideas for lessening your candy burden:
- Trade the candy for a non-food item, such as a new toy
- Assign a monetary value to each piece and then pay your kids for their candy
- Donate the candy to a program that collects candy for overseas troops
- Pick a set number of favorites to spread across the week and throw the rest right away
- Limit the number of houses you’ll visit or take a smaller bag
Choose Your Candy Wisely
Not all candy is created equal. Yes, it all tastes good, and our taste buds know that sugar is sugar, but there is a better choice for which candy to eat. Hard candy or other treats that stay in your mouth a long time mean that the sugar does too, which increases your risk for cavities.
Sticky candy, such as gummy bears, taffy, and caramels, tend to get caught between teeth. As a result, it is harder for your saliva to wash it away. Staying away from these options can help keep tooth decay at bay.
Another problematic candy option is gum. While sugar-free gum or gum with the ADA seal is excellent for cleaning the mouth after meals, sugary gum is not your friend. Because it stays in your mouth for a while, all that sugar has a chance to collect on your teeth and increase your risk for cavities.
Take Advantage of the Education Opportunity
Halloween is the perfect time to teach your kids about their oral health and other healthy habits. What better time to go over proper brushing techniques or talk about water’s importance for their body? Remind them how visiting the dentist is vital for keeping their teeth in tip-top shape. Take the opportunity to talk about how eating in moderation is a good thing and why it’s okay to have a piece or two of candy now and then.
Then, be sure to mention that timing is essential, too. Eating your candy after a meal is best, as this is when your saliva production is at its highest. Saliva is your mouth’s built-in protection and is what helps the sugar and stickiness from candy wash off of your teeth.
Think of Opportunities for Cavity Prevention
All the above suggestions are great, but they won’t prevent cavities. To take oral care seriously, you need to think of ways to promote cavity prevention. Here are things you should be doing to keep your mouth healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Get regular teeth cleanings at the dentist
- Drink water often
- Rinse with water or chew sugar-free, ADA-approved gum when you can’t brush your teeth
Get Oral Care Year-Round with Lovett Dental Northside
Halloween isn’t the only time to focus on your oral health. Seeing your dentist can help with cavity prevention and other dental issues. We offer a range of dental services, including:
To learn more about your oral care needs, contact Lovett Dental Northside today at 713-691-5551.