October 6, 2020
It’s that time of year when the goblins and ghouls come out to play, when children dress up as their favorite character and ring doorbells, shouting, “Trick or Treat,” and when candy is consumed by the buckets. Halloween is a fun and exciting time, but it can also wreak havoc on your smile. If you want to make sure your teeth look their best when you transform into a vampire, werewolf, or black cat, let a cosmetic dentist in North Sarasota share a few helpful tips that will keep your smile healthy this holiday.
Choose the Right Candy
Sticky candies can cling to your teeth, making it more difficult for your saliva to wash it away and increasing your risk for decay. Hard candies can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, requiring dental intervention. Sour candies are highly acidic and can wear down your tooth enamel. If you’re going to reach for anything in that candy bowl, make sure it is chocolate. Much easier to remove than other sugar-filled treats, dark chocolate is an even better solution because it contains less sugar.
Drink Plenty of Water
Throughout the evening, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water while snacking on that bowl of candy you’re supposed to be handing out to trick or treaters. Not only does it help to wash away particles left behind by sugar, but it also helps to keep your salivary glands working at an optimal level. Also, while indulging in an evening of candy goodness is “okay,” make sure you’re eating a balanced, nutritious diet the rest of the time. Filling up on healthy fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy will ensure you don’t fill your belly with too many sweets.
Leave the Bowl Out of Sight
If you’re tempted to snack on candy before the big day, don’t buy it until Halloween day. If you’re worried you might spend the following week picking from the remnants left behind, be careful how much you buy in the first place or see if you can donate the rest to a dental office. Many dentists offer to buy back Halloween candy before sending it to the men and women serving overseas. No matter what you choose to do, if you can’t see the bowl, you’re less likely to rummage through it each day. As the old saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Give Trick or Treaters an Alternative Option
If keeping candy in the house is too much of a temptation, try giving out different types of treats this year. Instead, opt for fun toys (i.e. bubbles, glow sticks, stickers) or healthier snacks (i.e. granola bars). Kids often enjoy finding a special toy in their goody bag at the end of the night. Plus, their parents will likely be happy with the one non-candy item they received.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Whether you’re handing out the candy or sneaking some for your child’s bag at the end of the night, make sure you’re brushing, flossing, and rinsing before bed. Removing any plaque-causing bacteria will be crucial to avoiding tooth decay and the potential for a future filling and/or dental crown.
Making healthier choices doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun and exciting Halloween. It simply means you’ll have a stellar smile that doesn’t require a trip to the dentist after the party is over.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman is a dentist in North Sarasota who attended dental school in Baltimore, Maryland, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He then went on to complete an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. At Parkway Ridge Dental, he and his team enjoy the holidays as much as anyone else, but they also know that sugar-filled treats can lead to serious cases of tooth decay. If you want to learn how you can avoid the potential for fillings and/or dental crowns this Halloween, contact us at (941) 358-8830 to find out a few helpful tips.