Fall is arriving soon, which means Halloween is right around the corner! It’s one of the scariest and most candy-filled holidays of the year. Most children and adults look forward to this special time as it’s a chance to dress up in their favorite costume for parties or trick-or-treating. Although indulging in delicious treats is one highlight of Halloween, it can leave a lasting mark on your oral health if you’re not careful. Your cosmetic dentist in Hoboken shares a few tips to keep you and your child’s smile healthy this season.
Choose Your Treats Wisely
Some candies are worse for your oral health than others. Avoid hard candy and sticky sweets because they cling to your teeth, making it harder for saliva to wash away. As a result, your risk of cavities and decay increases. Plus, biting into a hard candy can result in a broken or cracked tooth. You can prevent these problems by eating dark chocolate and sugar-free gum instead. Chocolate easily washes off teeth, and chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in your mouth by washing away leftover food and neutralizing harmful acids produced by bacteria.
Eat Candy With (Or Shortly After) a Meal
Did you know that saliva production increases while eating meals? As mentioned earlier, that’s beneficial because it rinses bacteria and sugar from your mouth to prevent cavities. Also, the amount of time sugary food is in your mouth affects your risk of tooth decay. Try to limit snacking on candy all day to minimize contact with your teeth.
Continue a Healthy Diet
Although you or your child might want to snack on Halloween treats every day until they’re gone, make sure to continue eating a well-balanced diet to avoid over-indulging. By giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive, you’ll feel less tempted to reach into your Halloween bucket for a snack. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water as well! It’s perfect for washing away leftover sugar from your mouth.
Consider Setting a Limit
Before your family goes trick-or-treating, set a limit on the number of treats your child can keep. This approach will prevent your little one from getting into the habit of eating a handful of candy every day. You can exchange the rest of their candy for a fun toy!
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Last but not least, don’t let your children go to bed without brushing and flossing their teeth. Although they might be tired after an exciting Halloween night, practicing good oral hygiene is crucial year-round to prevent oral health issues.
Your smile doesn’t have to be scary this Halloween! By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure you and your child’s oral health remains in tip-top shape.
About the Author
Dr. Robert Graffeo has over 25 years of advanced training and clinical experience. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the NYU College of Dentistry in 1990 and attends continuing education courses to stay current with the latest in the field. Dr. Graffeo enjoys educating his patients to help them make the best decisions for their oral health. For more ways to protect your smile this Halloween, visit our website or call (201) 683-3531 to speak to a professional.