“Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep” . . . without brushing your teeth that is. If you have ever watched “Nightmare on Elm Street,” you are probably familiar with that famous quote from the movie. No, the popular horror flick isn’t about dentists or brushing your teeth, but it does help us segue into another terrifying thought: cavities. So, if you are trying to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween, your sugar consumption might be a concern. Fortunately, we have put together a few tips and ‘tricks’ to help you enjoy your treats on fright night.
Life is a Box of Chocolates
There is a lot of wisdom to be had from classic movies of the 90s. However, Forrest Gump should have added ‘Halloween’ to his bench advice session. Chocolate is what you want in your treat bag. While most of us love jawbreakers, caramel toffee, and the variety of flavors of Laffy Taffy, these types of candies will wreak havoc in your mouth. While chocolate can be washed away with a glass of water or saliva or brushed off quickly during your nighttime dental routine, hard or sticky candies stay on the surface of your teeth for hours, lodging themselves in between the teeth in hard-to-reach places. The longer this sugar lasts on your teeth, the more time bacteria, or sugar bugs, have to feast on your enamel. This scenario causes most cavities and why it is essential to avoid these types of candies on Halloween.
This is Halloween, This is Halloween
It is not a time to deprive yourself because it is Halloween, after all. However, too much sugar is detrimental to your dental health and your overall diet. Dentists and dieticians advise against snacking on leftover candy and instead try to eat a small amount during one candy session. Typically, eating a few pieces after dinner will be the best time, as the excess saliva will help wash away most of the sugar bugs. In addition, you are more likely to brush your teeth soon after dinner than you are to brush after every snack attack you have during your day. So, set yourself up for success. Eat your candy after dinner and either trade or donate the leftovers!
It’s Just a Bunch of Hocus Pocus
Except, it’s not. Seeing your dentist routinely is vital if you want to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween. While eating a few pieces of candy won’t do too much damage to your dental health overall, long-term dental neglect can lead to cavities, tooth sensitivity, severe tooth decay, gum infections, and worse. While dentists recommend a cleaning and exam at least twice per year, your provider will create a plan specific to your needs. Brushing two times per day and flossing daily in-between visits will also keep your smile beautiful and your mouth healthy. If you have questions about your dental routine or need an exam or cleaning, please schedule an appointment with one of our fantastic dentists at Premier Dental Center in Boerne.