Halloween is a night of fun, friends, and of course, fright. Unfortunately, this exciting evening can lead to some consequences for your mouth if you aren’t careful. On average, most children consume the equivalent of three cups of granulated sugar every Halloween! In addition, because of the late-night, it is safe to assume that many kids will head off to bed without brushing their teeth. All of these events add up to a rough situation for dental health. If you have been wondering how to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween, you have come to the right place.
What Causes Cavities
Cavities form when sugar or bacteria stays on the surface of your teeth. After prolonged periods, cavities become permanent holes in your teeth that become incredibly sensitive and can be prone to infection and severe tooth decay. The leading causes of cavities are:
- Consuming sugary drinks or foods
- Snacking frequently
- Inadequate or infrequent brushing and flossing
If you are concerned that you may already have a cavity, we have some great resources here.
The Perfect Storm
Halloween is the perfect storm. Not only are you consuming sugar, but you are also more likely to be snacking on your candy for the days following the holidays. Even if you have a good brushing routine, it may not be enough to prevent a cavity. To keep your mouth healthy during Halloween, dentists recommend:
- Choose Chocolate. Hard or sticky types of candy can get lodged in between your teeth and be harder to clean off. Chocolate dissolves quickly and does not stay on the surface of your teeth for more than a few seconds. If you happen to get a lot of hard candies in your treat bag, you can donate it to a good cause instead of throwing it out.
- Eat it all at once. Dentists have recommended eating your candy stash in one sitting, preferably after dinner when you have excess saliva in your mouth to wash away the sugar. Eliminating random snacking for the days following Halloween will decrease the time bacteria have to feast on your teeth.
- Brush your teeth after you eat. Whether you eat your candy after dinner or in one solo session, brushing away the sugar and bacteria that cause cavities is essential. Brush for at least two minutes and follow with flossing.
Prevention is Key
Maintaining a regular dental appointment schedule is essential when you want to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween and every day of the year. Seeing your dentist at least twice every year for regular cleaning and exam can help prevent cavities. In addition, your dentist is an excellent resource and can educate you on proper brushing techniques and tips to help you avoid those nasty sugar bugs!
At Advantage Dental Group, we offer new patients a $59 appointment for their first exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays. Already an established patient? Great! Now might be the right time to schedule a post-holiday cleaning to make sure there are not any lingering bacteria trying to wreak havoc in your mouth.
Be afraid on Halloween, just not of cavities. Our excellent providers are here to support you. So enjoy your fright night, eat your treats, and follow the best practices for a healthy mouth. From all of us, Happy Halloween!