How to enjoy a tooth-friendly Halloween
Let’s face it, if I told you that we should all be eating celery and crackers this Halloween, that would be totally absurd and unrealistic.
This article will give five practical and realistic pearls of toothy wisdom to enjoy Halloween without having a big impact on the dental health of you or your children.
Enjoy sweets and chocolates ‘all at once’!
That’s right! This goes against conventional wisdom of ‘don’t eat them all at once!’.
Let’s imagine you eat one jelly bean every 15 minutes. In total, you eat 8 jelly beans. That means for 2 hours, your mouth has been constantly attacked by sugar, with little opportunity for your saliva to protect your teeth before the next jelly bean.
It would have been better to eat the 8 jelly beans at once – that would have meant just 1 sugar attack, rather than 8 different sugar attacks.
Remember, decay is caused by the frequency of sugar attacks, and not how much sugar you have.
Bonus tip: limit sugary snacks and treats to mealtimes.
Chew sugar-free chewing gum
Chewing sugar free chewing gum after sugary treats will neutralise their effects by promoting more saliva production, which is protective.
It is a good dental hack to reach for the sugar free chewing gum after a sugary food or drink, lowering your risk of tooth decay.
Try and avoid sweets that need to be in the mouth for a long time
Try and avoid lollipops, for example, as they are usually enjoyed over a longer period of time in your mouth. This effectively is drip feeding your mouth with sugar and promotes an oral environment where bacteria can thrive!
Add some fruits to the mix!
Fruit is nature’s candy. Fruit has intrinsic sugars which means they are less likely to cause decay of your teeth. Sweets and chocolates are essentially empty calories, whereas fruits are full of essential vitamins. This does not mean we should swap all our chocolate for apples, but rather just try to ensure some balance and promote good nutrition.
Relax, it’s Halloween!
Knocking on strangers’ doors dressed as a monster and indulging in treats afterwards. This is what the Halloween is all about, and it’s important not to take that away from tradition. Have fun this Halloween, indulge in some treats, and don’t feel too guilty about it. It’s only one day of the year.
Dental problems, including decay, are formed due to bad eating and cleaning habits over a long period of time. One day will not cause a massive difference.
Remember to brush your teeth before bed time, and then go back to the golden principles:
- Everything in moderation
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Use an interdental brush or floss once per day for all your teeth
- Visit your Dentist
- Make sensible dietary choices – avoiding sugary snacks between meals