Kids and parents alike love Halloween – especially trick-or-treating. While the pandemic has made many changes to the traditional spooky season, it hasn’t changed our love of candy. Even in the face of social distancing and gathering regulations, Americans will still spend an average of $92 per person on Halloween. That’s over $8 billion total – and a whopping 96 percent of spending comes from stocking up on trick-or-treating supplies.
After the decorations are taken down, and the costumes are put away, there will be weeks of eating candy to look forward to. This is exactly when oral health should be top of mind! Increased amounts of sugar increase the risk for developing cavities, which can wreak havoc in young and old teeth alike. Use these tips to ensure that you and your children can enjoy the results of trick-or-treating, cavity-free!
Avoid sticky or hard candies
All sugar is detrimental for your teeth, but candies that are sticky or hard can be particularly damaging. Sugar is converted into acid, which wears away at enamel and encourages the growth of “bad” bacteria. With that in mind, it makes sense to have as little contact with sugar as possible – which means avoiding or limiting these types of candy.
Sticky candies can leave sugary debris between your teeth, creating the perfect environment for cavities to develop. Hard candies take much longer to dissolve, which means you will be washing your teeth in sugar for minutes at a time. It’s okay to have both in moderation, but we recommend brushing your teeth immediately afterward to minimize your risk for cavities.
Don’t snack throughout the day
Halloween candy is so tempting to snack on throughout the day, no matter how old or young you are! Instead of eating a piece of candy here and there, set aside time after a meal to have candy. Snacking throughout the day will increase the likelihood of developing a cavity. This is because intermittent snacking increases the overall time that your teeth are exposed to sugar. If you aren’t brushing your teeth after eating each piece of candy, sugar particles are left to linger on your teeth, encouraging acid production and enamel erosion throughout the day.
Keep a good oral hygiene routine
One of the best tools you have in your arsenal is a solid at-home oral hygiene routine. This is true throughout the year, but especially during the holiday season. The weeks after Halloween are much more likely to contain more sugary snacks than usual, so make it a point to reinforce your oral care. This includes:
- Rinsing with mouthwash
- Flossing twice a day
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Drinking lots of water
- Storing your toothbrush in a dry, airy place
- Replacing your toothbrush after three to four months
A cavity can be painful, and if it isn’t treated right away, it can lead to tooth loss or even damage to the rest of your teeth. Use these tips to protect your mouth against cavities, and don’t forget to schedule a check-up with TruBlu Dentistry. We’ll examine your mouth to make sure that your teeth stay cavity-free throughout Halloween and the remainder of the holiday season!