It’s almost unavoidable at this time of year. Even if you don’t buy any yourself and even if you don’t have kids, you are likely to find yourself near a bowl of candy. Sweets have become an essential part of Halloween.
Knowing this, we hope you have a healthy, happy, and safe Halloween, however you celebrate. We also want you to remain free from tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health issues.
That’s why we are sharing some information that can help you keep your smile looking it’s best, even if you do enjoy a few pieces of candy from time to time.
Follow Some Simple Guidelines
First and foremost, you already know that setting limits is a good first step when it comes to sweets of any kind. If your kids will be collecting candy this year, talk to them before they come home with bags or buckets full of treats.
Another way to limit the amount of candy you eat is to have less candy. If you look online, you can find organizations that will accept candy as a donation. Operation Gratitude is one such organization. They send care packages to military members who are stationed overseas.
Second, try to eat sweets after a meal if you eat them. When you’ve already eaten, you are less likely to overdo it on the candy. Likewise, your body is already producing saliva, which helps to remove sugary food particles that can stick to or between your teeth.
Third, have a glass of water. Specifically, drink water when you eat sweets. This also helps you feel more full (so you eat less). Water also assists saliva by rinsing food particles from your mouth.
Know What You Are Eating
We want to preface what we are about to write by saying that avoiding overeating is the best strategy with any candy. With that in mind, some treats are worse than others.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s best to avoid sticky and gummy candies as well as sour candies. Gummies and caramels are more likely to cling to your teeth, and the longer they are in your mouth, the more likely they will be used by cavity-causing bacteria. Sour candies contain acids, which can be harmful to the enamel of your teeth.
Milk chocolate, pretzels, and crackers are better options than the candies we just mentioned. Milk chocolate is easier to remove from your teeth than gummies or caramels. Salty treats are less acidic than sour candies.
Your best options, according to the AAPD, are dark chocolates and sugar-free gum with xylitol. Dark chocolate has antioxidants. These can make it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your teeth. Xylitol encourages the growth of non-acidic bacteria, which is better for cavity prevention.
Remember The Basics
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always important to follow a good oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss your teeth every day. And remember to visit Charles F. Betts Family Dentistry in Decatur for routine cleanings.