October is here people, are you ready for Halloween? It’s okay if you aren’t; we’re making it our mission to at least get you orally prepped for the upcoming festivities. So while you’re thinking about who you’d like to impersonate, and how creatively eerie you’d like your decorations to be, it is equally important to think about how you to enjoy all the edible treats in a manner that isn’t destructive to your dental health. Like most holidays, Halloween means a ton of food, and an even greater amount of free candy at almost every facility to can think of.
The lazy but ideal response to tips on how to care for your mouth/teeth on Halloween would be a generic “Stay away from candy!!” alongside other basic dental hygiene tips. However, we are orthodontists, not party poopers, so we’re going to provide some practical tips which would allow you to fully participate in Halloween activities without compromising your oral hygiene.
When it comes to dental health, an immoderate consumption of sugar can lead to tooth decay. For those in orthodontic treatment, stay away from hard, crunchy, and sticky foods, whether or not they are sugar free; these types of foods can break any orthodontic appliance you may have, causing a significant delay in your treatment. Following proper eating instructions is also an essential part of the treatment process.
Harmful sugar eating oral bacteria live in our mouth and can create acids that destroy the shiny, outer layer of the teeth. These bacteria cause cavities. Wondering how bad it would be, for yourself or kids in braces, if you ignored your care routine and sneak in a sugary caramel treat? How about these complications:
- Possible tooth loss
- Extraction of unhealthy teeth
- Gum disease
- Changes in your bite
- A need for dental implants etc.
That stated, let’s get to the fun part.
Sweet and Tasty Candy Alternatives:
You don’t have to give up traditions to stay or become healthy; we know that’s not sustainable. Rather, creating modified ways of practicing traditions is a more effective route to sustainable health. Below are some healthy sweets and snacks you could indulge in, within reason:
- Hershey Sugar Free Dark Chocolate
- Werther’s Original Sugar Free candy (Do not Chew)
- Nice Starlight Mints Sugar Free (Do not Chew)
- Fruit snack (any hard fruit must be consumed in small chunks or avoided)
- Sugar-free fruit Yogurt
- Sugar free fruit cakes
- Organic veggie chips
Before and after consuming food and sweets this festive season, know that generic good oral hygiene habits apply and contribute to a dazzling bright smile. These include:
- brushing your teeth before and after meals (or 3 times a day),
- Use a mouth rinse once or twice a day
- Scrub your tongue from front to back with a tongue cleaner
So there you have it, a healthier way to enjoy the beautiful tradition of Halloween. In the spirit of the festivities, we will be kicking off our Candy Buy-Back program on the 1st of November. You or your children are welcome to sell us your excess candy ($1/pound) or donate candy at any of our practices. All candy will go to treating our troops abroad, and to children displaced by the hurricanes. Feel free to come by our office for healthy snacks, goody bags and an opportunity to treat those in need of some love and support.