Did you know that everyone you meet has a skeleton inside them? It’s pretty spooky if you think about it! However, that’s not as scary as the ultimate dental haunt: cavities. If you just shivered, then you know the damage that tooth decay can cause if left untreated.
If you want to celebrate Halloween this year without worrying about a trip to your dentist, then continue reading. Below are five tips from professionals to keep your teeth cavity-free on the day of candied delights.
1. Eat Less Candy
Sometimes this is easier said than done! The main reason candy is bad for your teeth is the same reason you eat it! The sugar content of these tasty treats is sometimes off the charts.
Consider setting a hard limit on the amount of candy you buy for Halloween. If it’s not in your home, you can’t snack on it.
2. Choose Your Candy Wisely
An alternative strategy for when you just have to have candy is to be more strategic with your choices. Some candies are far worse for your teeth than others.
For instance, treats like Jolly Ranchers are hard, sticky, and take a long time to dissolve. This is the perfect storm for tooth decay or damage.
Instead, try to eat more chocolate—the darker, the better. Xylitol gum is also an excellent choice. The sugar alcohol substitute is still sweet, but has been found to have cavity-fighting properties.
3. Drink Water for a Free Oral Rinse
Water is a freely available resource from taps or restaurants. It’s known in chemistry as the universal solvent, which means it can break down and flush away tons of chemicals. Water from the tap is fluoridated in the US, meaning it contains tooth-enhancing fluoride. Not only does it strengthen your teeth, but it can wash away bacteria, plaque, and food particles.
4. Eat Your Candy with a Meal
Notice the heading says “with a meal” and not “with other candy.” It’s important to pace yourself when it comes to treats of all kinds. Eating candy with meals will lessen the impact of the sugar on both your bloodstream and your teeth!
5. Brush Your Teeth Before Bed
Brushing your teeth is the number one way to ensure that your teeth don’t develop cavities. Since tooth decay is caused by plaque sitting on your teeth, the easiest way to prevent the bacteria from sticking around is to brush it off!
Before bed on Halloween night (and every night, besides!) you should brush your teeth for at least two minutes, getting all surfaces of your teeth and your tongue. Afterward, you should also floss to remove any leftover food or candy that may be lurking in the cracks.
By following these tips and staying consistent with your oral care routine, you’ll be able to enjoy a spooktacular Halloween! If you think you may have developed cavities from your candy adventure, visit your dentist for a checkup. This will keep you howling at the moon with a toothy grin for many Halloweens to come.
About the Author
Dr. James Kirby has been a dentist for over a decade and loves every moment. His favorite part of his job is the building of trust and relationships with patients. Dr. Kirby earned his dental doctorate at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Since then, he has continued to develop his knowledge and skills through years of diligent practice. To schedule an appointment at Green Hills Dental Center, call (615) 327-2123 or visit the website to learn more about the services they offer.