With Halloween coming up the only thing that should be scary is your costume, not your next dental visit. However, with so much candy in sight, it’s hard to resist. Here are a few easy tips to keep in mind during Halloween and even the rest of the year! The bacteria we have in our mouths are living organisms that consume food, especially sugar! The product of this food consumption is a weak acid which contributes to the breakdown of teeth. If we can limit the amount of sugar or reduce the amount of time we are eating sugar, we can decrease our risk of tooth decay. Limit your stock of candy. Pick out your favorites or your kids’ favorites and get rid of the rest. Check to see if your dentist has a buy back program or even donate your sweets to the troops through Operation Gratitude. Try not to snack on candy throughout the day. Instead, eat candy during mealtimes or soon after. This way you are reducing the number of times your teeth come in contact with sugar. Let kids have a designated “treat time” when they are allowed to have a few pieces of candy. The types of candy you consume also have an effect on your teeth. Hard candies stay longer in the mouth and increase risk for decay. Hard candies also have a higher chance to break your teeth! Sticky or gummy candies end up lodged in the grooves of teeth and are a lot harder to be removed or washed away by saliva. Chocolate is probably the best candy for your teeth because it doesn’t stay on the teeth as long and can be rinsed off much easier. Dark chocolate tends to have less sugar than milk chocolate. If you can, choose candy or gum that is sugarless or has a non fermentable sugar. That means bacteria can’t break it down and convert it to acid. Remember to drink water to dislodge any stubborn pieces of candy and level out the pH in your mouth. It’s okay to splurge a little during Halloween and eat candy; that’s part of the fun! Just make sure you are following these easy tips, brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and visiting your dentist regularly.

New Patient Exam Special
FREE EXAM at your first appointment
(a $95 value)
Red Mill Commons
1169 Nimmo Parkway, Suite 242

by Dr. Kristen Maddux
Hoek Family Dentistry

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