Rotten Teeth Will Haunt You!

Halloween is around the corner, which for most children means bags of free sweets and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.

Here’s how you can help your families teeth survive this tricky (or treat-y) time.

Time It Right
Eat Halloween sweets (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth (in response to the sugar) and rinse away food particles.

Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the sweetie bowl! Snacking on sweets throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet.

Choose Sweets Carefully
Avoid hard sweets and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, sweets that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.

Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky sweets cling to your teeth. The stickier sweets, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Drink More Water
Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.

Stay Away from Sugary Drinks
This includes fizzy drinks, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with drinks that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Sugar free Gum 
Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria. You might even want to think about giving sugar free chewing gum out as a treat instead of sweets says at Halloween.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three, or sooner if the bristles are frayed (or if you’ve been poorly in that time). A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.

Clean Between Your Teeth

Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.

Visit your dentist!

Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat”.