No holiday puts our teeth to the test quite like Halloween, which is projected to generate 9 billion dollars in retail sales in 2018.
The sticky and sweet choices are irresistible. But all the sweets can do a number on your teeth, which is why we decided to share with you the trick to eating Halloween treats.
AVOID STICKY AND SWEET
If you can, toss out the sticky and chewy candy. If you’re thinking, that’s essentially every piece of candy in this world? You’re close to correct. However, you can help your cause by limiting your intake of candy and eating your candy at one time, as opposed to snacking over the course of a day. Our mouths are filled with bacteria and feed on sugar. This process can create plaque. Plaque destroys the tooth enamel and leads to cavities.
“After you’re eating all that candy, the biggest thing that causes cavities is the time exposure,” said Dr. Laura Benjamin of Advanced Smile Care. “So, if you’re eating all that candy, don’t eat it throughout the day.”
PICK DARK CHOCOLATE
Of all the candy that’s available out there, your best best is dark chocolate! Studies suggest that chocolate which is composed of 70% cacao can be beneficial for teeth. A study out of Osaka University in Japan found that dark chocolate helps block harmful bacteria that prevents tooth decay. Researchers tested rats by adding cocoa bean husk to the animals drinking water. Another group was fed a high-sugar diet and given a form of bacteria that causes plaque. The study found that after 3 months, the second group had 14 rats with cavities versus 6 rats in the first group.
BRUSH YOUR TEETH AFTER EATING CANDY
If you start chowing down on your kiddo’s Halloween candy, be sure you have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste. By brushing your teeth, you will be reducing the potential impact of the sugar form the candy on your teeth, and there will be less time for the bacteria to build up in your mouth. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush. Meantime, we want you to know the brushing won’t likely remove all of the junk from your teeth such as the sticky parts of the candy that may be stuck between your teeth or on the gum line. We recommend that you use floss to remove any particles still lingering behind.
DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
The saliva in your mouth will prevent tooth decay. Water helps clean your mouth of the candy by washing away food, particles, or any of the sugar in the mouth. The American Dental Association says research shows that higher levels of fluoride in water can prevent tooth decay in at least 25% in people. When fluoride is in your water, it is absorbed into your enamel and can provide protection for your teeth.
“Just because it’s Halloween, you don’t need to say ‘BOO’ to all the candy, but we suggest you eat any trick-or-treat sweets in moderation and that you pay extra attention to your oral hygiene around the holiday to ensure your teeth stay clean and healthy,” Dr. Benjamin said.
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