Saturday, October 26th, 2019
Halloween is just around the corner and we all know that means the usual increase in sugary treats is bound to happen in most households over the next few weeks! Most of us don’t necessarily want to give up our favorite candy altogether, so we thought we’d offer a few suggestions to help minimize the effects all that extra sugar has on your teeth.
It only takes 20 seconds for bacteria on your teeth to combine with sugar and turn into acid. When acidic foods and beverages are consumed, it lowers the pH of a mouth and a change in the pH levels of our mouths contributes to cavity formation.
Just for the sake of reference, take a look at the chart below.
TOOTH + BACTERIA + CARBOHYDRATES (SUGARS) = REQUIREMENTS FOR CAVITY FORMATION
This Halloween, here are a few tips to help reduce the risk of tooth decay:
Eat Halloween candy with meals (or shortly thereafter). Since saliva production increases during meals, this will help cancel out acids and clear out food particles.
It’s how often, not how much that will get you. Snacking on sugary treats and foods frequently throughout a day is more harmful than consuming those things at one moment in time.
While gummy bears and Starbursts are desirable to many, these types of candies cling to your teeth and take longer to be washed away by the saliva in your mouth. Hard candies tend to stay in our mouths for a long time too, causing a similar situation.
Have your family choose their favorites from the candy collected this year and donate the rest! Operation Gratitude includes a handful of candy in care packages sent to those who serve our nation. A large source of this candy is from their Halloween Candy Give-Back Program.
Bring your candy to our office between October 31 – November 7 (one week!) and we’ll donate it to the program for you!
We all know we need to brush twice a day and floss daily, but during times of extra treats, it would be wise to add some extra brushing and flossing.
By chewing gum for at least 20 minutes after meals, you can reduce your risk of tooth decay. Increasing saliva flow will neutralize acid and wash out food particles. You can find an ADA approved gum here.
These simple tips will help keep your family’s teeth healthy this Halloween!