No tricks, Just Treats: Three Tips to Stay Safe & Healthy on Halloween
Halloween isn’t just the spookiest day of the year – thanks to all that trick-or-treating, it also tends to be one of the sweetest! And while this may sound like a great opportunity to loosen the reins and let the kids go wild, Halloween is also notorious for being one of the biggest annual events… at your local dentist’s office. But we’re here to help you keep your mouth healthy on Halloween.
According to the American Dental Association, cavities, chipped teeth and more all skyrocket in the week following Halloween. But with a bit of common sense and some thoughtful indulgence, you can enjoy the sweets of Halloween and the holidays beyond in moderation, without jeopardizing the health of your teeth.
Make Smart Choices
Choosing smart candies goes beyond just enjoying your sugary treats in moderation. It also includes picking the right options to consume in the first place. For example, candy that stays in your mouth for a long time, such as lollipops or other hard candies, can increase your risk of tooth decay. These candies can also pose an injury risk if accidentally swallowed or if you chomp down on them, possibly resulting in a chipped or broken tooth.
Work On Your Timing
Let’s face it, most people are going to eat some candy and not eat healthy on Halloween. But in order to minimize the risk all that sugar poses to your teeth, you’ll want to think about coordinating your candy consumption. It may seem silly, but timing your candy intake so that it coincides with meals (either immediately or shortly after, in most cases) is the best way to go.
Why? Well, it’s simple. When you eat a well-balanced meal, your salivary glands go into overtime. The increased saliva production helps remove the acidic content of the food you consume and washes away leftover food particles that can promote cavities and other tooth damage.
Drink More Water
Balancing out your sugar consumption with an increased intake of water and other sugar-free fluids can go a long way toward preventing damage and decay from sweets. Your best bet is fluoridated water – so if you prefer bottled to tap, you should look for brands that include added fluoride.
Keep Up Those Cleaning Habits
Lots of dietary decisions can seem like treats or cheats – but unlike skipping out on your diet for a day, you don’t want to chalk Halloween up as a loss and miss out on the other aspects of your oral health routine. Brushing your teeth in the morning and evening, and flossing to remove any stubborn food particles are more important than ever on days where your sugar consumption is higher than normal. These habits can help counteract the extra sugar and lower your risk of damaging your teeth, thus keeping your mouth healthy on Halloween.