It’s almost time for all the little monsters and ghouls to run amok! The costumes and games are a lot of fun, but don’t let Halloween get the best of you and your kids’ teeth. The free candy that’s so closely associated with the holiday may taste good now, but it can spell bad news for kids’ mouths later. Here are a few tips to help keep your family’s mouths healthy this halloween, while still allowing everyone to have some fun.
Eat Halloween Candy with Meals or Shortly After
Everything in moderation. While we don’t recommend you allow your kids to eat candy all day long, letting them have a little of their booty each day isn’t too harmful. To make sure it does the least amount of damage, try to only let your kids eat their sweets with meals or shortly after. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
Avoid Hard Candy or Sweets That Stay in Your Mouth for Prolonged Periods
The longer sugary foods are in your mouth, the higher the risk for tooth decay. Try to steer clear of hard candies like lollipops and Jolly-Ranchers.
Avoid Sticky Candies That Stick to Teeth
Candies that take longer to chew and swallow typically are the ones that stick to teeth. Sticky candies, like taffy, caramels and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Look for Gum with the ADA Seal
Sugary gums can be placed in the same category as sticky candies, and should be avoided at all costs. Instead look for chewing gums that are sugar-free and have the American Dental Association seal on them. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can actually benefit kids. It helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.
Drink More Water
Bring some water bottles around as you and the kids trick-or-treat. Keeping them properly hydrated will help keep their energy levels up, and will decrease false hunger pangs so they won’t start munching on all that candy they’ve collected. Also, drinking fluoridated water can help can help prevent tooth decay, and also washes away lingering food particles.
We hope your family has a ghoulishly good Halloween. Follow our healthy mouth tips and we are sure your next dental visit will be a piece of cake. Call Gary Skrobanek, the most trusted dentist in San Antonio, at GPS Dental to schedule your next family check up today. You can reach us at (210) 633-3477.