Wearing fake vampire fangs or witches’ teeth is a great way to have fun at Halloween parties or when you’re trick-or-treating. Of course, the last thing you’d want is for your teeth to look that scary all of the time! The Halloween season is rife with opportunities to wreak havoc on your dental health. So, if you want to keep your pearly whites “boo-tiful” this Halloween and beyond, be sure to follow these tips!
Limit How Often You Snack on Candy
As tempting as it may be to graze on candy all day, it can seriously increase your risk of tooth decay. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugar, the easier it is for cavity-causing oral bacteria to create plaque acid that eats away at your enamel. Therefore, by choosing to minimize the number of times you munch on candy per day, you can also reduce your chances of decay harming your smile.
Be Selective About Your Candy
Some types of candy are worse for your teeth than others. Sticky candies cling to your teeth, so they take longer to get rinsed away by your saliva. This means your risk of cavities increases over time. Biting down on hard candies can all too easily chip or crack a tooth if you’re not careful. Sour candies are also one of the worst offenders. They’re extremely acidic, and this acid can weaken your tooth enamel, leaving your smile vulnerable to decay.
Of all the kinds of candy available, chocolate and sugar-free gum are the healthiest options for your teeth. Chocolate is more easily washed off of your teeth than most other candies. Dark chocolate is even more ideal since it contains less sugar. Sugar-free gum can also be a healthy yet sweet treat; chewing it stimulates the production of saliva, which washes food debris away from your teeth and neutralizes acids produced by harmful bacteria.
Drink Plenty of Water
As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to drink water after you’ve finished a meal or snack. Water is by far the best beverage for your oral health – it’s sugar-free and it can rinse away the sugary candy particles clinging to your teeth.
Don’t Go to Bed Without Brushing and Flossing
Whether you’re taking your little ones trick-or-treating or you’re partying with friends, Halloween can be an exciting night. Once you get home, you might feel too tired to brush and floss before hitting the hay. However, saliva production decreases when you sleep, giving bad bacteria in your mouth ample opportunity to damage your tooth enamel. By brushing and flossing right before bed, you can dramatically lower this risk and go to bed with a clean and fresh-feeling mouth.
While Halloween can certainly wreak havoc on your pearly whites, it doesn’t have to. When you keep these tips in mind, you can keep your smile healthy and not scary this Halloween and for many more to come!
About the Practice
Dr. Philip Batson earned his dental doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia and maintains active memberships in several professional organizations, including the Missouri Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. At Columbia Healthy Smiles, he proudly treats patients of all ages. He would love to give you and your loved ones personalized advice on maintaining great dental health no matter the time of year. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a caring dentist in Columbia, MO, visit Dr. Batson’s website or call his office at 573-875-7071.