If you’ll be celebrating Halloween this year, don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums.
Halloween typically involves plenty of candy and other sweet treats, and while it’s perfectly fine to indulge now and then, it’s also important that you take care of your teeth for the sake of your long-term oral health. Here’s how to enjoy the festivities without sacrificing your wellness.
Say no to sticky sweets
Treats that are particularly sticky, like gummy bears, caramel and toffees, tend to stick to the teeth, which makes it more difficult to clean away leftover particles from between your teeth and gums. In fact, candy that sticks to the teeth and gums is generally more harmful than those that can be easily cleaned away.
Avoid hard candy
While it’s a well-known fact that sugar can cause damage to the teeth, it’s not necessarily the amount of sugar in candy that is most harmful. In fact, the length of time that sugary treats stay in your mouth plays a key role in the development of cavities. For this reason, it’s best to avoid hard candy that takes a long time to eat because your teeth are exposed to acid attacks for as long as the candy remains in your mouth.
Stay away from sour sweets
While all sugary candies can cause damage to the teeth, sour sweets generally contain more acids and are particularly harmful to the enamel. Sour sweets also tend to be chewy, which means that they stick to the surface of the teeth for a long time and are more likely to cause decay than many other treats. Treats like chocolate are a better bet, as it can be chewed quickly and easily cleaned off the teeth.
Switch soda for water
Most sodas are packed with sugar, which means that they cause plaque to accumulate on the teeth, and can damage the enamel over time. Sweetened, carbonated drinks also tend to be very acidic, and some even contain caffeine, which tends to try out the mouth. Dark coloured beverages can also cause stains and discolouration on the teeth. Rather drink water — you’ll stay hydrated, plus you’ll avoid consuming unnecessary and empty calories with this simple swap.
Take it easy with the drinks
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic drink or two from time to time, it’s important to know that alcohol tends to dry out the mouth. When there is not enough saliva in the mouth, food particles often stick to the teeth, which can lead to tooth decay. Saliva also helps to protect the mouth against a number of oral health issues, including gum disease and infections, so when the mouth is dry, the risk of these problems increases. Try and limit your intake of alcohol and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Don’t forget to keep your mouth clean
One of the best ways to avoid tooth decay is to make sure that your teeth don’t remain coated in sugars after you have finished eating. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and rinse your mouth out after eating a sugary treat. It can also be helpful to have some sugar-free gum after a snack — chewing on gum helps to increase the production of saliva in the mouth and helps to remove any sugar that has stuck to the teeth.
Also, don’t forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss daily. Sticking to your oral hygiene routine will ensure that your teeth and gums remain clean and healthy.
If you would like some more advice about taking good care of your oral health, we encourage you to come in and see us for a personal consultation. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.