Everyone wants to dress up as a scary monster for Halloween, but every good monster needs a healthy set of fangs. While Halloween is a time-honored celebration of all things spooky, creepy, bizarre, and unsettling, the sheer volume of candy thrown around every year has caused anxiety among dentists for generations. Here are some Halloween dental health tips to make sure your little vampire, werewolf, or ghoul can keep their fangs healthy and terrifying for next year.
Sticky, Gooey, and Hard Candies Are Some of the Worst Offenders
Humans find sugar to be tasty because it is chock-full of easily absorbed chemical energy. Unfortunately, the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease are just as crazy about it for the same reason, and some candies are more dangerous for your dental health than others.
Sticky, gooey candies such as caramels, taffies, and gummies are despised by dentists the world over because they can more easily get stuck in the nooks and crannies of your smile. These are difficult to remove by both the mouth’s natural cleaning process and home dental hygiene techniques. This allows them to serve as a stubborn and sugary shelter for all sorts of harmful bacteria.
Hard candies are just as wicked. These confections are intended to be left in the mouth and sucked upon until they dissolve. This saturates your mouth with sugary residue that allows the nasty oral bacteria to multiply and attack your teeth. To make matters worse, biting down on these hard sweets can chip or crack your teeth.
Chocolate Isn’t the Worst Thing for Your Smile
Chocolate is the most popular candy out there. Fortunately, it’s one of the more teeth-friendly ones. It isn’t sticky, abrasive, or hard, so chewing it isn’t terribly harsh on your teeth and it can be easily removed afterward. Dark chocolate is a darling among dentists because it is especially low in sugar and full of antioxidants, making it a great way to celebrate Halloween without having to worry so much about cavities.
Enjoy Your Candy Around Mealtime
Your mouth produces more saliva during mealtimes. Saliva is your teeth’s first line of defense because it keeps them lubricated, replenishes their minerals, and washes away bacteria and food residues. This makes mealtimes ideal for munching on candy because this added saliva will help keep your mouth clean. Also take care to drink plenty of water with meals, as this will keep you hydrated enough for healthy saliva flow while also helping to wash bacteria-breeding food debris from your mouth.
Of course, this is all in addition to practicing excellent oral hygiene every day and showing up for dental appointments as recommended. Cleaning your teeth after indulging can minimize the damage harmful bacteria can do, setting your fangs up to be in biting shape when next Halloween comes.
About the Practice
Danville Dental Associates opened its doors in 1976 and has provided excellent dental health care in Danville and Chatham, VA ever since. With a staff of twelve dentists, each of the six locations delivers the latest in dental health treatments in a friendly and compassionate environment. Areas of expertise include general, restorative, cosmetic, pediatric, and emergency dentistry. For more information on keeping your teeth healthy this Halloween, contact the practice online.