Halloween and Good Dental Hygiene
Halloween is approaching and this is the time that kids, and sometimes parents, enjoy different types of candies. You must have probably heard of the term “candy tax” by now. This is where the parents take a portion of the candy their kids have collected. It’s becoming a common practice as more parents are trying as much as possible to lay their hands on some of their kids’ candy. However, many parents fail to realize that these candies pose a risk not only to their children’s dental hygiene but also to their own dental hygiene. If it’s not good for their children, it’s not good for them either!
Sugar on the teeth is a catalyst for the multiplication of bacteria. Eating too much candy increases the amount of sugar on the teeth and some harmful bacteria feed on this sugar and release an acid which destroys the enamel. Tooth decay and certain gum diseases are mostly caused by the production of this acid. However, there are certain precautions that you can take to ensure that no harm comes to your teeth and that of your children during Halloween festivities.
Statistics released by the National Confectioners Association shows that most of the candy purchased last year was milk chocolate. The percentage of cacao, milk, and sugar in the milk chocolate candy are 30, 20 and 49 percent respectively. What this means that is that for every chocolate bar you eat, a lot of sugar is taken into your body and worse of all a lot of it remains on your teeth. The good news is that during Halloween, most candy comes in small sizes but it will make no difference if you eat a lot of them at once. You can protect your teeth by enjoying just one or two of the small sized candies.
Cleaning Your Teeth After Candy
If you are finding it difficult to reduce the amount of candy you are eating during Halloween, you can use this technique. Make sure you brush your teeth after eating the candy so that no sugar remains in your teeth. If you are in a situation where you cannot brush your teeth, just ensure you have rinsed your mouth thoroughly. This way all the sugar will be washed away and no bacteria will develop in your teeth. It is an effective way of protecting your teeth and the gum line.
Using Alternatives to Candy
The dental risks that come with milk chocolate bars outweigh the health benefits associated with the cacao ingredient in it. The best alternative would be the dark chocolate which has more of the cacao (70%) and less sugar in it. The sour taste of the dark chocolate sometimes turns people off and therefore you can use trail mix and other forms of candy that don’t have as much sugar or any sugar at all.
Halloween is a time to celebrate and you can do that without your teeth being at risk of decay. Dr. Joseph Manfredi is an experienced dentist and he is happy to offer you the best advice and put together a dental maintenance and dental hygiene plan that keeps your teeth looking strong and healthy. Call today to schedule an appointment.