Halloween is just a few short days away. With it comes a ton of parties, trick or treating, and, of course, sweets. 4% of all candy consumption occurs on this spooktacular holiday. We’ve gathered up some fun facts in our “Halloween Candy Facts” infograph below. Once you’ve checked it out, consider our tricky tips below for a safe and healthy Halloween season.
Best and Worst Treats for Teeth
Most of us know that the acidic sugars in candy can lead to cavities. Many candies have upwards of 15 ingredients in them, and often they are a variety of sugars. Believe it or not, there are some candy types that are more recommended than others. Kinds that melt such as chocolate or butterscotch discs are better than sticky ones such as licorice or caramels. Your saliva can wash away easily dissolvable sweets from your teeth, whereas chewy types can cling to and between teeth, and harbor plaque build-up and decay. The same is true of such treats as caramel or candy apples, sweet granola bars, etc… that may get pick-up during trick or treating.
Sorting after Trick or Treating
Many families will return how with their sweet loot and start a sorting ritual. If you don’t typically do this, consider it this year. Throw out any candies or treats that aren’t properly wrapped. Recent articles are pointing more and more toward drugs being presented as candy. Protect your family by making sure anything they consume won’t hurt their mouth.
If your haul is excessive, consider putting some of your chocolate in the freezer. It will keep for up to 6 months. Often children want to eat a lot of it right away; don’t stop them! It’s actually better to eat a bunch of candy all at once than to eat a little here and there because the added saliva that your mouth provides during a pig-out tackles the acids that can ruin teeth. For this reason, try not to leave bowls of candy out in plain sight. 3 out of 4 households do this, and it allows everyone to eat candy whenever they want, namely all day long. This candy grazing is constantly putting sugar on your teeth and your saliva often can’t keep up.
Battling Decay After All the Sweets
If you want to be sure you or your family members’ teeth don’t suffer extreme consequences for all that Halloween candy consumption, then encourage and increase these habits even more than you already do:
- Be sure you are brushing your teeth for 2 minutes twice daily. Around Halloween, it might even be worth it to brush after eating the candy, or a third time midday.
- Increase flossing from 1 to 2 times daily for the week following Halloween.
- Even if you don’t normally choose to use mouthwash, doing so around Halloween and throughout the holidays is a great idea. It can keep sugars at bay and strengthen teeth with the fluoride often included in it.
- Drinking lots of water can help keep your mouth flushed out and sugars to a minimum.
- Eating healthy foods to balance out sugar intake is a wonderful way to keep blood sugar from spiking and your teeth free from decay. Munching fresh apples, carrots, celery, and other fibrous produce can actually scrub away plaque buildup and sugars in your mouth, and offer hydration that has been depleted.
- Consider scheduling teeth cleaning after Halloween or in January following all the major Holidays of the year. If any damage is done, we’ll be sure to find it and prevent it from getting any worse.
With these tips, you’re sure to have a wonderful time October 31st without compromising on the health of your mouth. We hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Halloween!