Just in time for Halloween, the American Dental Association (ADA), released some helpful tips as children prepare to amass large quantities of candy. As the ADA notes, eating candy on Halloween is fine so long as a person brushes twice and flosses once every day, but certain kinds of candy may be more hazardous to your teeth than others.
According to the ADA, chocolate is one of the safer bets because it can be easily cleaned off your teeth. People should be more cautious when consuming sticky or gummy candy, hard candy, or sour candy.
ADA Tips for a Healthy Halloween
The ADA shared a dozen tips on MouthHealthy for people to keep in mind during Halloween. The tips include:
- Eat Candy at the Right Time — As the ADA notes, the ideal time for eating candy is during or after meals. The increased saliva production during meals helps cancel out acids and rinse away food particles.
- Avoid Snacking Too Much — You should avoid eating candy repeatedly during the day, as excess candy consumption correlates to cavity risk.
- Pick the Right Candy — As mentioned above, certain types of candy are more harmful to a person’s teeth than others.
- Avoid Sticky Candies — Any sticky candy, such as gummy bears or taffy, will inevitably cling to your teeth. Such residue is much more difficult to rinse away through natural saliva, and a person can be at higher risk of tooth decay.
- Consider Donating Candy — When a family is reviewing their haul after Halloween, it may be most beneficial to allow children to keep the candy they want the most and donate the rest. Getting rid of excess candy certainly minimizes the potential risk to teeth.
- Drink Lots of Water — One of the easiest ways to prevent tooth decay is merely to consume a healthy amount of water. The ADA recommends drinking fluoridated water.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet — Try to balance candy consumption with other foods that are healthy for your teeth. In addition to water, dairy products, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and nuts can all be good for dental health.
- Avoid Sugary Beverages — Combining Halloween candy with soda, sports drinks, or other flavored beverages may increase the risk of tooth decay.
- Chew Sugarless Gum — The ADA states that chewing sugarless gum after a meal can reduce the risk of tooth decay by washing out food and neutralizing acids. You should look for a sugarless gum that has the ADA seal of approval.
- Brush Twice Daily — You should brush twice a day for two minutes each time. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months, and make sure to use an ADA-approved toothpaste.
- Floss Once a Day — Lots of candy pieces can end up caught between your teeth, and flossing will help remove these bits.
In short, a person needs to be especially mindful of the quantity and quality of the candy they are consuming after Halloween.
The Babylon Dental Care team is ready to help you keep your teeth healthy after Halloween. Dr. Clifford Brown, DDS, and Dr. Harold Gaynes, DMD are both members of the ADA. Call (631) 983-6665 or contact us online to see how our team can help you.