It’s October, and we all know what that means … Halloween. That special time of the year, trick or treating and candy everywhere. It just might be the best time of the year for kids. But let’s not forget that these little pieces of happiness wrapped in foil can do more harm than good, especially when it comes to teeth and dental health.
So let your kids have all their fun – but read on to find out how to help your teeth make it through Halloween intact.
How Candy is Bad for the Teeth
Candy in general – and chocolate in particular – can chemically induce happiness, there’s no argument there. They stimulate the brain to release endorphins (the happiness hormone) and the brain just swims in those during Halloween.
However, sugars in candy can be incredibly harmful to the teeth and mouth. When sugars are consumed, the PH of the mouth drops, and an acidic medium is formed. It is in this acidic medium that bacteria thrive, causing all sorts of problems like cavities and gum disease. Not only that, but sticky sugars like nougat and caramel can stick on the surface of the teeth for much longer and are normally not washed away by saliva or by rinsing, so their harmful effect lingers on.
How to Help Your Teeth Make it Through Halloween Intact
No one can say no to candy, especially children, and doubly so during Halloween. It is unrealistic to expect our children not to eat the candy, but there are steps that we can follow to make sure they do as little damage as possible such as:
1. Eat All the Candy at Once
One thing you need to learn is that frequency is much more dangerous than quantity. In simpler terms, it is much better to eat 5 pieces of candy in one sitting than eat 1 piece of candy in 5 sittings. Or, maybe just eat the whole bag at once. Your call. 😉
2. Rinse, Rinse, Rinse
To neutralize the acidic environment, you need to wash your mouth out with water. Rinse your mouth as much as you can after eating sugar.
3. Delay Brushing
Contrary to popular belief, it is not beneficial to brush right after you finish eating. This can push the acids deeper into the teeth, which can do more harm than good. It is better to neutralize the acids with water and delay brushing for 30 minutes.
Now all we can say is … enjoy. You’ve earned it. Now, stay safe!
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