Do’s and Don’ts for Keeping Your Teeth Healthy on Halloween
Do’s and Don’ts to Help Keep Teeth Healthy During Halloween
- Do Limit How Much Candy You Eat
- Don’t Snack Throughout the Day
- Do Drink More Water
- Don’t Eat Sticky and Chewy Candy
- Do Chew Sugar-Free Gum
- Don’t Choose Sour Candy
- Do Brush Your Teeth Shortly After Eating Candy
- Don’t Suck on Candy for a Long Time
- Do Consider a “Candy Trade”
With a little planning, and not just mindless candy-grabbing, you can keep your smile strong and bright now and into the months, years to come!
Sugar Guidelines for You and Your Child
While Halloween may not be the time you want to think about this, it is exactly when you NEED to think about to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween.
While it is no surprise that halloween candy is pretty much pure sugar, watch out for secret sugary foods like bread (especially whole wheat bread), yogurt, granola bars, nut butters, milk, pre-packaged foods and more.
The American Heart Association and many other health organizations have defined sugar guidelines for you and your child. These guidelines when followed reduce your child’s risk for chronic conditions and can help protect their teeth from sugar-related cavities.
The guidelines for each age group are:
- Men: No more than 9 teaspoons, which is 36 grams or 150 calories a day.
- Women: No more than 6 teaspoons, which is 25 grams or 100 calories.
- Children: Less than 6 teaspoons if you’re under 18 years.
- Newborns/Toddlers: 0-3 grams, or as little as possible.
Studies show that toddlers and children get between 12 and 20 grams of sugar a day and those between 18 and 25 get 34 grams or more a day.
Sugar and Cavities
When it comes to teeth health, sugar is real saboteur. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay and gum disease, which are some of the most prevalent chronic diseases among children and adults.
Gum disease affects more than 64.7 million American adults alone, and many more people have tooth decay. When you eat, sugars in your food combine with bacteria in the mouth to form plaque.
Plaque, that sticky, acidic substance your mouth makes every time you eat, sticks to/and erodes your tooth enamel. If it remains on teeth long enough, cracks and open areas will form on the tooth surface allowing decay to enter and eventually lead to tooth loss.
Plaque also inflames your gums, making them red, swollen, and more likely to bleed when brushing. The gums move away from plaque, by pulling back (or receding). This can eventually lead to tooth loss. This is gum disease.
Reduce your risk for cavities and keep your teeth healthy during Halloween! Brush and floss your teeth several times a day, and especially after sugary treats and meals.
Safeguard Teeth for the Rest of the Holiday Season–and Longer!
It’s very possible to enjoy your holiday or Halloween candy all fall and winter while still keeping your teeth healthy. Children don’t have to get child tooth decay and adults don’t have to get cavities either. Simply practice great oral hygiene and limit your sugar consumption! Adults and children alike should brush their teeth at least twice a day, if not after every meal. Both should floss 1-2 times a day. Help your children with brushing and flossing until they can do it for themselves. Then, monitor their brushing and flossing to make sure it’s done correctly.
All patients from infancy and on should be visiting their dentist at least twice a year as well. This is a time when we can spot the signs of cavities and stop them in their tracks. Small cavities are much easier to get rid of than large cavities that lead to tooth loss. If you want more tips for preventing cavities or you need to schedule your family’s dental exams, call Dr. Ania’s office today at (303) 872-9940!