Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 9-12-2022
Halloween is the season of ghosts, goblins, ghouls—and cavities! With all the fun and trick-or-treating comes an increased consumption of candy.
Now, we aren’t saying your family shouldn’t go out and enjoy the festivities. However, it is important to consider the best ways to take care of your teeth when everything’s over.
At Milltown Dental, we want you and your family to have a great Halloween season while continuing to develop good dental hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. Thus, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks you can follow this spooky season to help maintain good dental hygiene.
Candies to Consider Avoiding
1Sticky and chewy candies
Although they may not seem scary, sticky candies (including caramels) should be on your radar this post-Halloween season. Notorious for getting stuck on and between your teeth, these are often some of the worst treats.
Due to their sticky nature, overly chewy candies are much harder to remove from your teeth and may remain on the surface far longer than other selections.
This increases the likelihood of cavity-causing bacteria building up, which ultimately can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Chewy candies such as gummies and taffy not only stick in your mouth longer but also have the ability to pull out a filling, bridge, or braces.
Our team at Milltown Dental recommends brushing and flossing your teeth immediately after consuming these types of sticky treats. However, avoiding them altogether when possible is the ideal choice for maintaining good dental health over time.
2. Hard candy
While hard candies are less likely to stick to your teeth, a good amount of caution still needs to be taken.
If you decide to indulge in some hard candies this Halloween, remember to be extra careful; otherwise, you may break your teeth. It’s important to avoid biting down on hard candies as much as possible; you also don’t want to knock any filings loose.
In addition to potentially cracking a tooth, hard candies can alter your saliva. Since you will most likely keep these treats in your mouth for longer than other kinds, the sugar will get into your saliva and coat your teeth longer.
Keep in mind that hard candies can cause problems that are difficult to fix. If you’re looking for a Milton dentist, the team at Milltown Dental offers extensive dental cleaning services to help prevent both short and long-term tooth damage.
3. Sour candy
Providing double-the-trouble when indulging your sweet tooth, sour candies tend to contain a lot of sugar and are also typically very acidic. This high level of acidity can weaken and damage the hard, protective outer layer of your teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay and cavities.
To ensure your teeth remain protected this Halloween season, consider booking a dental cleaning with Milltown Dental.
Our Milton dentist office offers a wide selection of dental cleaning services designed to help manage your dental and oral health needs.
4. Caramel corn and candy-coated popcorn
The most mischievous candy option, the candy-coated popcorn kernels often get stuck between your teeth, which can lead to hidden cavities. It’s important to always floss your teeth after enjoying some popcorn, especially if it’s coated in sticky candy.
Keep in mind that the layers of sugar often found on popcorn this time of year may make the pieces hard. Similar to typical hard candies, this thick coating can possibly lead to a broken tooth while simultaneously filling your saliva with sugar.
When sugar coats the inside of your mouth and teeth, it contributes to the development of cavities, as well as decay.
Scheduling regular dental cleanings ensure your teeth are properly maintained, encouraging better oral hygiene over time.
At our Milton dentist office, the Milltown Dental team provides “dental prophylaxis” cleaning procedures that thoroughly clean your teeth to get rid of plaque build-up that regular brushing and flossing can’t reach.
Strategies to Incorporate This Halloween
1. Brushing & Flossing
A preventative measure that doesn’t only apply on Halloween, continuing to maintain a proper brushing and flossing routine twice daily ensures long-term prevention against tooth decay, especially when candy is involved!
While brushing and flossing immediately after consuming candy seems smart, this may cause more harm than good. Some candies are incredibly acidic, which can cause damage to your teeth and soften the outer enamel.
Brushing and flossing right away may spread the acidity around your mouth or rub it into your teeth, causing further damage.
Our team of Milton dentists at Milltown Dental recommends waiting 30 minutes before brushing your teeth—and don’t forget to floss.
2. Choose the right drinks
Drinking water should already be an important part of your daily routine. However, when it comes to dental hygiene, this is a step you don’t want to skip.
Drinking water after eating any type of candy can help wash away the sugar and dilute the acid produced by the remaining bacteria inside your mouth.
Be sure also to avoid any drinks that are high in sugar, such as soda or juice. The sugar inside these beverages has the same effect as candy, breaking down into acid that, in turn, will cause decay in your enamel and cavities on your teeth.
Our dental cleaning services at Milltown Dental not only help with your ongoing dental hygiene, but can also support stain removal caused by heavily dyed candies or drinks.
Candy is certainly a satisfying treat to have every once in a while. However, over-consuming it can lead to long-lasting damage. It is important to practice moderation when enjoying any variety of sweet treats.
Consider dividing your children’s Halloween candy into small, manageable portions that you can easily control. This will help ensure they are able to indulge in their candy without going overboard.
Having an effective cleaning plan for your teeth can help stop the damaging effects caused by consuming candy.
At our Milton dentist office, the Milltown Dental team provides in-depth scaling to remove plaque and tartar, as well as tooth polishing to remove stains that cannot be managed with regular brushing.
Prevention is as much about knowing what to eat as when you should eat it. The ideal time to consume candy is actually right after you finish a meal. This might seem odd at first, but during a meal, your mouth produces additional saliva designed to help break down food.
The extra saliva, therefore, will assist you in washing away the leftover sugar coating your mouth and teeth.
During our dental cleaning services at Milltown Dental, you will receive a comprehensive exam to evaluate the extent of preventative work you may require to maintain your overall dental health.
How to Maintain Optimum Dental Health
Regular dental check-ups help prevent long-term dental damage, protecting your teeth against ongoing decay and potential hygiene concerns. That said, the Halloween season is an ideal time to schedule your next dental cleaning appointment.