What’s the only day of the year when kids can get dressed in up fun costumes, knock on strangers’ doors and receive free candy? Why, Halloween, of course! It gives all of us – young and old – an excuse to get “chocolate wasted” and binge watch scary movies, but if you’re not careful, you’ll be left with more tricks than treats. That’s right, we’re talking about dental cavities and tooth decay. There’s no doubt that the best part about All Hallows’ Eve is eating all those delicious, sweet treats, but just don’t neglect your oral health in the process. Here are a few simple tips on how to keep those pearly whites healthy this Halloween season.
Tip #1: Brush and floss after consuming candy.
Almost immediately after candy consumption, have your child brush his or her teeth. If it’s right before bedtime, have them floss as well. And the same goes for you. Letting all those sugary and acidic candies sit directly on the teeth for prolonged periods of time is just asking for a cavity.
Tip #2: Give out healthier treats.
We’re not talking about handing out apples and bananas – that might cause you to get a few strange looks and stares. Instead, consider passing out popcorn, trail mix, pretzels, granola bars, cereal bars or even a good ole chocolate bar (dark chocolate has many health benefits) – they’re all better options than sour, sticky or hard candies.
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Tip #3: Set limits.
Moderation is everything. If you have kids, allow them to pick out 15 to 20 pieces of their favorite candies. What should you do with the rest of the candy? You can either store the rest in the freezer or donate it to others.
Tip #4: Avoid certain candies.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s best to avoid sour, sticky or hard candies, including Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids, Starburst, or anything that’s loaded with caramel. Opt for M&Ms, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s and Kit Kat bars instead.
Tip #5: Eat candy with your meals.
When you eat candy with your meals, your mouth produces more saliva, which helps to wash away all those acids and food particles.
READ: The Healthy Halloween Candy Guide
Tip #6: Chew gum after meals.
Chewing sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after snacks and meals also increases your mouth’s saliva while neutralizing the acids in your mouth, which can be harmful to your tooth enamel.
Tip #7: Avoid extra sweets.
During Halloween season, you might want to consider cutting out extra sweets from your diet. That means steering clear of juice, soda, cookies, cupcakes, donuts, pastries – you get the idea!
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