Happy Halloween!

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!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.)

  3. 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. 

  4. 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! 

The Candy is Coming! The Candy is COMING!

We all know that in the next week or two, Halloween candy will be everywhere, as will be the temptation to eat it, All. Day. Long. Halloween can also be an opportunity to discuss good oral habits and teach them to your kids. Here are a few tips that are easy to understand and discuss, and can make a big impact on your dental health at Halloween and all year round. 

  1. Don’t spread your candy-eating out! While we aren’t telling you to eat all the candy in one sitting, it is a better idea to eat a few pieces at once after a meal, rather than eat one piece of candy every 20 minutes throughout the day. Remember the candy alters the pH of your mouth and when it’s gone, your mouth can recover. The sooner you finish eating the candy, the sooner your mouth can get back to normal. 

  2. Drink water! There isn’t a better time than right now to start carrying a water bottle and drinking it throughout the day. Quite the opposite as what’s above, drink water throughout the day, frequently. This helps wash debris off of your teeth and allow your pH to return to normal quicker. 

  3. Use fluoride products! Some people have fluoride in their water, specifically if they live in the city and drink city water. However, some people do not or they drink bottled water, which may or may not have fluoride. Regardless, we can all benefit from the fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Using these every day can really make an impact on our teeth and lessen the chances of decay. 

  4. Eat First! Candy Second! Making sure we stick with our regular meal plans and eating habits can help us to not over-indulge on the sweets. Be sure you have a full stomach and are hydrated before you dig into the candy drawer!

As long as we are eating normally, drinking water throughout the day and keeping up with our brushing, flossing and rinsing, Halloween treats should not negatively affect our teeth. It is also a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the importance of our dental health and how they themselves can really make a difference in their smile. 

One more fun idea for you to try with your little ones is to set up a candy bank for your kids. Because we don’t want our kids eating the candy all day long, have the candy in one location that they know you have to retrieve for them. Only after they finish their meal or help with a chore are they able to choose 1 or 2 items. This limits the time that they are eating candy and also makes sure that they understand it is a special thing. 

If you are trick-or-treating this weekend, we hope you are having fun, being safe and, of course, Sharing Smiles. 

Halloween Dental Tips!

Let’s be honest, in the coming weeks, we are all going to be eating more than our fair share of Halloween treats. During this time, it is especially important that we are taking care of our teeth in the best way that we can. It also is a good idea to limit your treat-eating to a particular time of day and make sure you aren’t grazing on sugary treats all day long. Along with making sure you are eating a healthy diet throughout the day, here are some tips to make sure you are giving your teeth the care that they need.

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. You’ve heard this one before. Consider buying yourself an electric toothbrush to help in brushing for the right amount of time and making sure you aren’t pushing too hard. 

  2. Floss once a day! Remember that 33% of your tooth surface exists between your teeth and can only be cleaned by flossing!

  3. Rinse! Using a mouthwash, or even water throughout the day, can help to rid your mouth of debris and return your mouth to a normal pH level. Using a fluoride rinse at night can help give your teeth a little boost during this extra-sweet Halloween season.

  4. Visit your Dentist. We would venture to guess that the majority of us are OVERDUE for our preventative visit with our doctors. These should happen every 3-6 months, based on what your oral hygiene needs are. While this is always important, we think it’s even more urgent, as the end-of-the-year holidays are getting closer and we don’t want to be spending our holiday time in dental pain. Call today to take care of your teeth!



Halloween is Coming!

It’s that time of year when we start eyeing the candy aisle and wondering what we will buy for all of our cute, costumed, trick-or-treaters that will show up in a few weeks. While, it is true that nearly all sugar-y candy is not good for your teeth, there are a few tips on what to buy for your neighbors and how to handle your own intake of candy:

  1. Stick to the chocolate! While, yes, there is still sugar, chocolate melts off of the surface of your teeth and so the sugar won’t ‘stick’ there for a long time. Compared to a sticky candy, like a Jolly Rancher, a milk chocolate is a better option. (You still need to rinse with water after eating chocolate though!)

  2. Limit how many and how often you will eat your Halloween candy. Treating it like a dessert and having 2-3 pieces after dinner in a  short amount of time is better than having one piece every 15-30 minutes throughout the day. You can also have your child just choose their favorite kinds of candy to keep and donate the rest to groups like Support the Troops that send them overseas to our soldiers!

  3. Be sure to brush and floss! Whether you are eating milk chocolate or sticky candies that can get stuck in-between or in the grooves of your teeth, it is important to keep up with your at home brushing and flossing routine. 

  4. Spit, but don’t rinse, when you brush your teeth. This seems weird, and is not what most of us probably do. However, if you don’t rinse with water right after brushing, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a few more minutes to sit on the surfaces of your teeth, giving a little extra boost to it’s benefits to your teeth. Try it!

Halloween is a fun time and a special treat for all of us. It is also a great opportunity to remind ourselves, and our children, about how to keep up our brushing and flossing habits at home, and also talk about why sweets should be eaten only in moderation.

Friendly Reminder: If you haven’t yet finalized your costume, consider this your 3-week warning!