It’s Spooky Season…for your Smile: Top 5 Tips for Managing Halloween Treats
It should be no surprise that sugary treats can spook your smile! But you may wonder how exactly that happens. Your mouth is home to many types of bacteria, some good and some bad. When you eat or drink sugary treats, certain “bad” bacteria will actually feed on the sugar and in the process create acids. With proper brushing and flossing, the bacteria will get eliminated BUT without it, it will destroy your tooth enamel. The tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth, and without it, holes known as “cavities” form.
So how can you manage cavities during spooky season? Here are our top 5 tips:
- Choose Wisely. The type of candy matters – chocolate is better. Limit hard candies, sticky candies, and sugary gummies, while delicious they are more likely to leave sugar in your mouth for that bacteria to feed on! Chocolate on the other hand (not the kind with caramels, unfortunately) has less sugar.
- Limit Timing. The time and frequency of the treat ALSO matters. Another reason hard candies should be limited is because they take a long time to “dissolve” in your mouth (ie. sucking on a lollipop). How often you eat treats also increases the amount of sugar bacteria can feed on!
- Treat Smartly. There are a few tricks to eating treats smartly. By eating treats with a meal and savouringthem, you’re less likely to binge than if you were treating on an empty stomach. Drinking water after a treat can also help rinse some of the sugar out of your mouth!
- Brush & Floss. Even if you limit the amount and type of candy, some sugar can get stuck between your teeth in hard to reach places – brushing and flossing regularly keeps bacteria away!
- Be extra careful with braces! If you or your child have braces avoid hard candies, caramels and chewy candies to keep braces safe and intact.