It’s that time of year when pint-sized ghosts, witches and zombies roam our streets looking for something sweet to eat. With all the lollies and sweets being shared during Halloween the risk of tooth decay can be frighteningly high. We’ve put together some handy tips and tricks to make sure these sugary treats aren’t the scariest part of this Halloween.
Choose wisely! Lollies and sweets pose the greatest risk to our teeth during Halloween. These sweet treats are high in sugar and a higher intake of sugar increases our chances of tooth decay. Whilst the high level of sugar intake isn’t ideal, choosing your treats wisely can help reduce this risk.
Certain lollies and sweets are actually worse for your teeth than others. Try avoiding sticky lollies and hard candies such as toffee, caramels and lollipops. These types of lollies expose our teeth to sugars for a longer period of time increasing the chances of decay. Sour lollies are also a concern as the citric acids used to intensify the sourness can cause damage too.
After trick or treating, consider sorting out your children’s (or your) lolly haul and discarding the hard or sticky sweets. It’s hard to resist temptation but it’s also important to limit the amount of lollies consumed in a single sitting.
A large amount of sugar intake at Halloween is going to harm your teeth, so setting limits can be a great way to reduce the risks of tooth decay at this time of year.
We’re all dying to have fun trick or treating but collecting enough lollies to fill a giant cauldron might not be the best plan. Try to limit the amount of lollies your children collect during their trick or treating adventure. Whether you limit how many sweets they collect at each house, or control the size of the bag they use, it’s a great way to reduce the amount of lollies and sweets they will eventually eat.
Limiting the times when your children consume their trick or treating haul will also help reduce the risks of tooth decay. Let them choose a few lollies to have as a treat after a meal. The saliva produced during your meal will help to flush away the excess sugars from the lollies.
It’s probably seems like witchful thinking but try to limit the amount of lollies that are eaten in one sitting and avoid letting your children snack on their sweets throughout the day. Our mouth needs a break in between meals so that our saliva can flush away any built-up bacteria and acids. Snacking on sugary foods, like Halloween sweets, is even worse for the mouth as we are constantly adding more sugars and acids to the mix and not allowing our saliva to neutralise these acids.
You’re probably getting enough sugar intake without opting for sugary drinks such as soft drinks, cordials and sports drinks. Sipping water whilst eating sweets will reduce the risk of tooth decay as it will help wash away any built-up sugars in the mouth.
Whilst it might be tempting to brush your teeth straight after you’ve eaten your lollies it’s important to wait. After eating and drinking you have a 30-minute window of acid invasion. It’s recommended you don’t brush during this period as you can potentially be removing demineralised enamel from the surface of the teeth.
Everyone wants to look your scariest and give people pumpkin to talk about, but we also need to be careful when choosing our Halloween costume. If you are trying to change the appearance of your teeth use costume cosmetics that are designed for your teeth to avoid any further damage to them. Do your research before trying to alter the appearance of your teeth (even consult your dentist).
Although those vampire teeth seem like a fang-tastic accessory you need to be careful with fake teeth. If they start to cause pain or irritation, it’s a good idea to remove them to avoid any damage to your gums and teeth.
Some of these tips probably sound like they’re going to be a pain in the neck but we’re positive they will not ruin any skele-fun you’re planning. If you do go a little overboard with the treats maybe think about booking a post-halloween appointment with your local Maven dentist. Don’t worry, we don’t have any Dr Evil’s.