Halloween is here, which for most children means bags of free lollies and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the summer. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. Dr Catrina Carroll agrees “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan,”
Here’s how you can help your family stay Mouth Healthy on Halloween and year-round.
Time It Right
Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. ” Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet,” Dr Catherine-Anne Walsh notes this is also true for adults not just kids.
Choose Candy Carefully
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky lollies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Have a Plan
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. Have your family pick their favourites and share or donate the rest to other people in the family or street.
Drink More Water
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes soda, sports drinks and flavoured waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. “You might even want to think about giving sugarless gum out as a treat instead of candy,”
Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Clean Between Your Teeth
Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
Visit an ADA Dentist
From The ADA Oral Health Site: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/h/halloween-tips 30th October 2019