Collecting candy is as much of a Halloween tradition as dressing up in costumes, but one of these traditions is significantly worse for your teeth than the other one. When you eat candy, the bad bacteria in your mouth get even more excited than you do, because they get to eat candy too. The only difference is when they consume sweets, they produce an acid that wears down your tooth enamel and causes cavities. To prevent this, let’s look at 5 Halloween candy tips to keep your mouth healthy this spooky season.
1. Avoid Sticky Situations
The length of time that sugary food lingers in your mouth affects your likelihood of developing cavities. Unless the candy you’re munching on is sugar-free, it increases your risk for tooth decay if it stays in your mouth for a long time. Candies that are sticky, like taffy, caramel, and gummies, stay in the mouth for longer because it takes a while for saliva to wash them away from the teeth. Keep your consumption of these candies to a minimum. If you want a sweet alternative, try chocolate, which washes off the teeth quite easily.
2. Chew Sugarless Gum
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing gum without sugar for 20 minutes after a meal can drastically reduce your chance of getting cavities. This is because the act of chewing stimulates saliva production, which rinses your mouth out of harmful bacteria and leftover food particles. Be sure to chew sugar-free gum that has the ADA Seal of Approval.
3. Stay Away from Hard Candies
Much like sticky candy, hard candies like jawbreakers stay in the mouth for a long time as you suck on them. This gives bad bacteria in your mouth plenty of time to wreak havoc on your tooth enamel. Moreover, there is always a chance you could accidentally bite hard candy, causing your tooth to break. Avoid this dental emergency by keeping away from hard candies.
4. Eat Candy with Meals
When you have lots of candy laying around, it can be hard to resist snacking on it all day. However, you should try your best to avoid doing this, as constantly snacking increases the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to sugar. If you’re going to eat candy, do so with your meals or shortly thereafter. Saliva production increases during meals, meaning the candy will be more easily washed away.
5. Avoid Drinks with Added Sugar
Beverages like soda or energy drinks might taste great, but they are too full of sugar to be considered remotely healthy. This is especially true if you frequently sip these drinks throughout the day. Quench your thirst with water instead. Choose tap water instead of water from plastic bottles. Your teeth will benefit from the added fluoride, which has been proven to fight tooth decay.
Halloween is right around the corner, and that means lots of candy consumption. However, you don’t have to let that be an excuse for cavities. Follow these tips and you should be cavity-free this Halloween.
About the Practice
At Painesville Dental Group, our team of five dentists each bring unique skills and experience to the table. We go out of our way to ensure that all of our patients are comfortable and knowledgeable about their treatments. We treat patients of all ages, so now matter how old you are, you can trust that we can heal any cavities you may accrue this Halloween. For more Halloween candy tips, don’t hesitate to contact Painesville Dental Group by clicking here.