With all the horror movies and spooky costumes, you have good reason to be scared around Halloween. We also have one of the scariest Bogeymen of all to deal with — tooth decay. Halloween involves a lot of snacking on candy for little and big ghouls alike. Let’s talk about the impact the Halloween season has on your teeth and what you should worry (and not worry) about.
The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Health Around Halloween
The official day of Halloween happens at the end of October, but for many people, the celebration lasts a little longer. Candy becomes a highlight in grocery stores and supermarkets. You can buy large bags of it on sale and discover new seasonal varieties. Children get their own stash of candy every Halloween, and adults might go to costume parties featuring a variety of sweet treats. Whether you eat classic Halloween fare or drink the adult varieties, you put your teeth at risk. To counteract potential damage to your teeth, you need good oral hygiene.
Candy and Your Teeth
Have you ever wondered why sugar causes tooth decay? Technically speaking, it doesn’t. Instead, bacteria cause plaque and cavities. They happen to love candy, too, as well as other carbohydrates. When the bacteria in your mouth consume carbohydrates, they create acid that wears down your enamel.
When carbohydrates stay on your teeth for a long period, the bacteria have more time to create acid. Sticky foods have a higher chance of harming your teeth than non-sticky foods. For example, a box of raisins has a higher chance of causing decay than some kinds of chocolate because the sugar stays on your teeth longer. The saliva in your mouth naturally washes sugars away, but it can only do so much. You need to make sure to get rid of these extra carbohydrates with proper oral hygiene.
Oral Health and Halloween Beverages
During trick or treat or at a party, children and adults might drink soda. Some adults have alcohol. Both these beverages can contribute to tooth decay. This is true even when you choose less sugary varieties because their acidic nature also affects your oral health. While dry wine and diet soda don’t have as much sugar as similar drinks, their high acidity can wear away at teeth. Remember to rinse these beverages down with water and brush regularly.
Tips for Good Oral Hygiene
Practicing good oral hygiene involves:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day. Make sure to brush for at least two minutes at a time.
- Flossing once a day. This helps to get everything your toothbrush can’t reach.
- Limiting food with a lot of acid, sugar or starches. The bacteria in your mouth will have less to consume.
- Avoiding tobacco in all forms. It causes bad breath, raises your risk of cancer and stains your teeth.
We greatly stress the importance of seeing your dentist, too. They can check your teeth for potential problems and keep them clean. To schedule an appointment with Gateway Dentistry Group, call 1-780-539-3555 or use our online form. We hope you have a scary good Halloween!