It's almost Halloween! Costume stores are springing up, yards are decorated with ghoulish décor, and our day of sweet indulgence without guilt is almost here. Everywhere you look, there's your favorite candy or chocolate wrapped in scary yet appealing packaging. What! It’s Halloween.
Well, to all the sweet tooth Halloween lovers -both adults and kids- here are some practical tips from a Dentist who shares your love for all things sweet.
Sort the candy. When you are raiding your five-year-old's candy bag at 2 in the morning, separate the stack into two parts. Place the taffy, the caramels, the gummy bears, anything that is sticky, chewy or sour into the first pile. All of the other candy goes into the second pile.
Avoid the first pile. Dental cavities have a proven cause-and-effect relationship with extended exposure to sugary or sour substances. Oral bacteria thrives in this environment and converts these substances to acid that can, in turn, lead to cavities.
Watch your family’s consumption of these sweet treats during this season. A great tip is to leave the candy wrappers in a visible area so that you remember how many of these ghoulish confections you’ve eaten.
Chew sugar-free gum to help you ration your sweet intake. Ingredients like Xylitol and Sorbitol, low calorie sweeteners found in some gum, can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Research has shown that these sweeteners starve destructive bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish minerals to your teeth. Get advice from your Dentist on the frequency and amount recommended.
Talk to your kids about oral health. This is a great time to reinforce the twice-a-day brushing routine and the daily 'oh-so-dreaded flossing' regime. Always remember, children will mostly do as they see. The most ideal scenario would be to brush after the consumption of candy. If that’s not possible, then encourage your child to eat the candy within a few minutes instead of snacking throughout the day, and then wash away some of the sugar by drinking a glass of water. And remember, Halloween is a great time to call your dentist and get the family scheduled for a check-up!
In the words of Robert Louis Stevenson, "There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner; that in the dinner, the sweets come last."
Enjoy the sweets in moderation and have fun this Halloween!
Ocala dentist Adenike Taiwo, DMD, has been a practicing dentist since 2010. She provides general dentistry services to patients starting at age 14. Her services include dental implant restorations, extractions, root canal therapy, laser therapy and whitening procedures. Dr. Taiwo completed a General Practice Residency at the University of Buffalo, NY from 2009 to 2010 and is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, Florida Dental Association and National Dental Association. She practices at Coast Dental Ocala North, located at 1220 Northeast 36th Avenue in Ocala, FL 34470. The phone number is (352) 732-4847.
Written By: Adenike Taiwo, DMD
Reviewed By: Chuck Laun, DDS
Reviewed By: Charbel Klain, DMD