Halloween can be a sweet time for kids – getting to know your neighbourhood while collecting some wonderful sugary treats. While you can expect on a good night’s out to bring in a bag full of goodies, here are some tips to keep in mind when enjoying your loot:
Be careful of hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers. Slow sucking on these may maximize the sweetness in your mouth, your teeth will also spend just being exposed to cavity-causing sugars. Biting down on hard candies and jawbreakers can also crack or chip your teeth.
Chips can be sweet, salty, and savoury, yet they can also spell trouble by sticking to your teeth and breaking down into sugar, which can cause cavities.
Chewy candies and dried fruit can be loaded with sugar and these sweet treats can stick in the crevices of your teeth and cause tooth decay. Sour candies are no friends either as the acid that makes them tart can erode the enamel on your teeth.
REMINDER: Enamel helps protect your teeth from daily use such as chewing, biting, crunching, and grinding. Although enamel is a hard protector of teeth, it can chip and crack. Enamel also insulates the teeth from potentially painful temperatures and chemicals. Bacteria in your mouth converts the sugar into acid, which can wear away the enamel.
Though chocolates generally dissolve quickly in your mouth, which may reduce the chance of cavity causing sugars to linger around your teeth, it’s still sugary. Try to enjoy in moderation.
Some helpful tips to avoid the tricks from the treats:
- Eat your candy after a meal to minimize the portion and maximize the sweet-tooth satisfaction
- Eating cheese before you have your sweets can provide a protective, vitamin-rich coating on your teeth
- Floss every night to get rid of any leftover debris from in between your teeth
- Wait 30 minutes before brushing to prevent enamel damage – those 30 minutes allows saliva to do some cleaning on the sugars and acid left on teeth surfaces. Even soft-bristled toothbrushes can be highly abrasive when enamel is already weakened by high acid levels.
Keeping these tips in mind and you’ll know how to best enjoy your wonderful treats … your teeth will thank you!