What other holiday is more notorious for excess candy consumption than Halloween? It’s fast approaching and it can create some problems for you, your child, and your healthy smiles. This Halloween, be sure to follow these tips from Dr. Silva and the American Dental Association.
- Take with Food: Eat Halloween candy with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
- Choose Carefully: Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth increases risk for tooth decay.
- Avoid Sticky Situations: Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Drink Water: Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: The foods you choose as fuel and how often you take-in affect your general health, as well as your teeth and gums.
- Stay Away from Sugary Beverages: Consuming sugary beverages increases your risk of tooth decay. This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters.
- Chew Gum with the ADA Seal: Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.
- Brush Twice a Day: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Also, replace your toothbrush every three to four months. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Floss your teeth: Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Visit your dentist frequently: Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early.
Another great tip: calling Dr. Silva today to schedule a post-Halloween visit to keep your teeth feeling and looking good!