From Halloween candy to pumpkin lattes to candy canes… These holidays can be hard on your teeth! It doesn’t make sense to deprive you or a child entirely, we all know how that story ends, with an eventual binge!
Here are some tips for helping to keep your mouth healthy this season for children and adults alike!
First let’s ask ourselves…
How do sugary foods lead to cavities? When we eat foods filled with sugars or starches (about 90% of all food) bacteria in dental plaque is enables to produce acid which attacks our tooth enamel. This attack by bacterial acid can last 20 minutes or more and lead to a loss of tooth mineral and eventually to cavities.
Eat Candy with Meals
Halloween candy should be consumed with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. When acid is being produced in your mouth all day it is a problem. That’s why popping candies all day is problem, it doesn’t allow your mouth time to recover to a balanced PH.
Some Candies are Better than Others
Avoid hard candy that stay in your mouth for a long time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay.
The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Drink More Water
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. Water will also help flush out your mouth and food particles.
Chew Sugar Free Gum!
Chewing sugar free gum after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria.
Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss
Electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective and gentle than manual. Check in with your dentist and see what they recommend.
Don’t forget, have fun !