Many of us have already trick-or-treated this past weekend and still some of us wait until the BIG day - Halloween - to fill our bags with sweet treats. We’ve spent the last couple of weeks talking about this time of the year and how to make sure all the treats don’t play tricks with our teeth, so here’s a few last minute tips to help you and your family this Halloween!
Time your Treats! Eat treats right after a meal rather than as a snack or much later on their own. When you are eating a meal, your mouth produces saliva and it’s better to eat the candy when saliva production is in full swing, as it can help to get your mouth back to a neutral state more quickly.
Choose Carefully! This is a good rule for all of us but can be especially true for little kids (especially if you are the one still cleaning their teeth). Try to stay away from the super sticky, hard candies. These can really stick into and between teeth and they can stay there a long time and be very hard to remove. Things like milk chocolate and peanut butter, however, will melt off your teeth quicker and be easier to remove. We aren’t saying chocolate is healthy, we are just saying that a Reese’s might be better than a Jolly Rancher … for your teeth. (let’s be real though… they are all delicious.)
Don’t Rush to the Brush! Ideally you want to wait 20-30 minutes after you consume your candy before rushing to the brush. Immediately after eating sugary treats, the pH level in your mouth is likely acidic, and it can cause your enamel to be softer than usual. Brushing at this time could cause you to damage your enamel or cause erosion. Waiting a little bit can let your mouth and enamel return to a more neutral state, which is better for brushing. Either way, brush gently - no need to ‘scrub’ your teeth.
Pay Attention to Costumes. Some costumes come with fake teeth or prosthetics that just aren’t made very well. Sharp edges of fake teeth can cut or scrape your gums and some could push on teeth in an unhealthy way. Be cautious of these things and if you are concerned, either: don’t use them or use them in very limited amounts of time.
We hope everyone has a fun, safe and treat-filled Halloween!
Remember - everything in moderation, brush and floss every day and give us a call with any concerns or issues!