Halloween and Your Teeth

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Halloween Leads to an Excess of Candy

Halloween is right around the corner! The entire month of October revolves around this one day. It’s a month full of scary stories, dressing up as your favorite character, going to costume parties, and candy. Halloween is a time to have fun with your friends and family. However, because candy plays such a significant role in this holiday, your teeth might be in trouble.

Since the moment your baby teeth come in, people have continuously taught you about caring for your teeth. Unfortunately, the sugar in candy is very harmful to your teeth, and candy is always in excess during Halloween. Children go trick-or-treating and receive loads of free candy. However, we are not telling you that you cannot eat candy during Halloween.

There are still plenty of ways that you can enjoy the full breadth of Halloween while keeping the health of your teeth in mind. We wouldn’t want to take the fun out of one of the most exciting holidays.

Halloween and your teeth have a complicated relationship. After all, candy is a staple for Halloween, but it’s not healthy for your teeth. That is why Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is here to help you enjoy Halloween while still protecting your teeth.

How Does Candy Impact Your Teeth? 

Even those who don’t have a sweet tooth probably have one type of candy they enjoy. That’s why it plays such a vital role during Halloween. While millions of Americans, both young and old, like to indulge in candy, it can harm your teeth.

Candy is full of sugar. Your mouth is full of naturally occurring bacteria that thrive when sugar enters your mouth. These bacteria will then consume the sugar from candy. The more candy you eat, the more sugar you give bacteria.

As bacteria consume this sugar, it creates a weak acid that combines with your saliva, forming plaque. Plaque is particularly harmful to your teeth. As it builds up, it begins to eat away at the enamel of your teeth. The enamel is what protects your teeth and keeps them healthy. Even though it is one of the hardest tissues in the body, the acid bacteria produce still breaks it down.

In due time, tooth decay begins. The acid will wear down your enamel and will continue to eat away at your teeth. Eventually, this decay will create a hole in your tooth (known as a cavity). If you don’t treat this cavity, it will only worsen, eventually developing into a root infection that might require a root canal or tooth extraction.

As you can see, Halloween and your teeth have a complicated relationship. The candy one gets during Halloween can ruin your teeth. If you are not careful, eating too much candy can destroy your smile.

How to Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Halloween

Just because candy can lead to tooth decay does not mean you cannot still enjoy some during Halloween. There are plenty of ways you can keep your teeth (and the teeth of your children) healthy even while eating Halloween candy. At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we want everyone to have a healthy smile, but we also don’t want you to miss out on all the fun during Halloween.

Do Not Eat It All Right Away. 

It is not uncommon for children to collect a bunch of candy during Halloween. Often, they accumulate enough to stockpile it for several months. However, they usually want to eat their candy right away. Even parents like to get in on some of this action, too, but it is crucial to promote moderation.

Too much of a good thing is always a bad thing. Like we said earlier, the more candy you eat, the more sugar you give the bacteria in your mouth, and the more acid they make. Eat candy in moderation. Don’t splurge on a bunch of pieces in one sitting.

Also, try to eat Halloween candy (and all sugary foods) with or right after meals. When you eat, your mouth increases saliva production. Saliva is responsible for washing away debris from your teeth, such as candy and sugar.

Don’t eat all of your Halloween candy right away. Save it as you continue into the holiday season.

Avoid Certain Candy. 

Did you know some candies are better for your teeth than others? When given the chance, choose the candy for yourself (and for your kids) carefully when trick-or-treating. Chocolate is arguably your safest bet. It is one of the softer candies, so it washes off of your teeth easier. Additionally, dark chocolate contains less sugar than milk chocolate.

Certain candies stick to and in between your teeth. When candy sticks to your teeth, it stays on longer, giving bacteria more time to feed on it, create acid, and wear on your enamel. Such candies include:

  • Gummies and chewy candy
  • Caramels
  • Hard candies
  • Lollipops
  • Sour candies
  • Super sweet candies
  • Popcorn balls (another popular holiday snack)

Additionally, sugar-free gum can help prevent tooth decay. When you chew gum, you produce more saliva, which flushes food particles off of your teeth.

Brush and Floss Your Teeth.

We all know that candy can present genuine problems for your teeth. Things become even more difficult during Halloween. After all, there is candy in excess virtually everywhere you go during this time of year. At this point, you should know that Halloween and your teeth do not necessarily go hand in hand. However, you should already be engaging in habits that protect your teeth and maintain their health. That’s right! Arguably the best way to protect your teeth this Halloween (and year-round) is by brushing and flossing!

You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Brushing your teeth removes any buildup on your teeth, preventing plaque from eating through your enamel. Flossing allows you to clean between your teeth. Halloween candy has a nasty way of getting stuck between your teeth, which is why flossing is so crucial.

Visit Your Dentist  

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year. Everyone can enjoy it, from young children to grown adults. It’s a time for dressing up, having fun, and eating candy. Even though candy is harmful to your teeth, that does not mean you cannot enjoy it. Halloween and your teeth might not see eye to eye, but you can still enjoy some candy this time of year.

One of the best ways to keep your teeth clean year-round (especially after Halloween) is by visiting your dentist for a dental cleaning. They will make sure there is no leftover candy on your teeth to keep your smile looking good. Get ahead of the curve and schedule dental cleanings for the whole family before Halloween gets here. Give Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas a call today to schedule an appointment!