Whether you are preparing your kids for the Lil’ Monster 1K Race or planning on a fun night of trick or treating around the lake at the Texas Ski Ranch for Fright Night, your holiday may involve some not-so-healthy sugar consumption. While we applaud your little runners and hikers, unfortunately, cardio will not stop the sugar bugs from creating cavities on their teeth. We don’t want to spoil your enjoyment of Halloween, so we put together some tricks of our own to help you get your treats and eat them, too!
Establish and Maintain a Consistent Dental Routine
You can’t prevent a cavity by avoiding sugar entirely and brushing your teeth one night a year. Preventing cavities begins with a daily dental routine that you and your kids follow. Dentists recommend brushing twice per day daily for two minutes each session. Brushing the entire tooth surface at a 45-degree angle or in small circles is essential. In addition, schedule an appointment for an exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays at least two times per year with your dentist. Your provider may recommend additional cleanings or treatments depending on your specific oral needs.
Have Your Treats and Eat Them, Too
Instead of shutting your kids indoors for the Halloween festivities, go out with a plan! Preparing for success is the key to it. While taking your stroll around the neighborhood for candy, remember these tips for keeping your teeth healthy during Halloween:
- When presented with hard, gummy, or sticky candies, trade them with a friend or plan to donate them to a good cause. Hard and sticky candies get stuck on your teeth. This is especially true of Laffy Taffy or caramel. These substances are tough to wash away, do not dissolve quickly, and can linger on the surface of your teeth for more extended periods. The longer this sugar is in contact with your teeth, the more opportunity a cavity has of forming.
- Say ‘yes’ to chocolate. If you do end up trading candy, opt for chocolate! Milk chocolate is an excellent alternative to hard candies on Halloween. It not only dissolves on its own in the mouth, but it is also easy to wash down with a drink of water and does not usually stay on the surface of your teeth for more than a few seconds. If there is any remnant of chocolate remaining, a solid two minutes of brushing before bed will take care of any sugar bugs that may be hanging out.
- Eat it all at once. Sorry, parents, you heard us right. Dentists have recommended eating your candy at one time instead of snacking on the leftovers for the days and weeks that follow. While we don’t recommend making yourself sick, we agree with going to candy town once instead of multiple times. Try eating your candy after dinner. The excess saliva from your meal will help wash away any sugar, and you are also more likely to brush your teeth within an hour or two after. Snacking increases the amount of times sugar hits the surface of your teeth, and it is also unlikely that you will brush your teeth after every snack attack.
Don’t Be Spooked By the Dentist
Seeing a dentist can be spooky, but at Premier Dental Center in New Braunfels, we pride ourselves on relieving our patients’ anxiety and providing them with quality dental care. New patients can schedule an initial exam, cleaning, and set of x-rays for $59! If you have questions about your dental routine or need additional information about our practice, please do not hesitate to contact us. Have a safe and happy Halloween!