How To Keep a “Spooktacular Smile”: Halloween Candy & Cavities
With Halloween fast approaching, Americans will spend nearly $2 billion on candy. This accounts for part of the annual 50 million tons of sugar consumed by kids on a global scale.
The chilling part for trick or treaters is that tooth decay can occur if these sugary substances are left on the teeth too long. Bacteria takes the sugar and forms a sticky film on teeth called plaque. The acid in the plaque attacks the tooth enamel causing tooth decay. Now that’s scary!
However the demons found in sugar doesn’t mean you have to have an exorcism when it comes to Halloween candy. Not all sweets have a spell cast upon them or are wickedly evil.
With the following tips Halloween Can Be a Wicked Good Time.
- Monitor candy consumption, it’s how often Halloween candy is devoured, not always how much that can affect the chances of tooth decay.
- Keep the chocolate because it melts quickly limiting your mouth’s exposure to the demons that are in sugar.
- Get rid of the hard candy. It has a bite that could cause a cracked tooth. Sucking hard candy allows overexposure of the sinister sugars that creep into teeth forming plaque.
- While you’re going through the ‘loot’ from a night of trick or treating throw out the sticky, gummy tacky candy. They can be terrifying because they stick to the teeth making it wicked hard for saliva to wash away the harmful sugars.
- Sugar-free gum is a keeper because it contains a potion called Xylitiol – a sugar alcohol that makes an excellent sweetener. Xylitiol stops the production of tooth eating acid attacks and plays hocus pocus to any cavities that try to form. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals has been shown to reduce tooth decay by 60%, because it increases saliva flow.
- After eating candy, destroy the little monsters that linger forming a “sugar bath” for your teeth by brushing, rinsing and flossing. Each time candy is eaten the acid in the mouth can take up to an hour to dissipate.
- Talk to your little goblins about oral health and the ghastly consequences of cavities if they do not brush, rinse and floss twice a day.
The trick is treating your teeth well so that your children keep their “Spooktacular Smiles!”