Halloween may primarily be for kids, but let’s face it, few adults stock-up on sweets for trick-or-treaters without dipping their hands in the candy bowl.
Kids with braces and retainers are routinely reminded by their orthodontists to stay away from sticky, chewy, and crunchy treats. However, as candy consumption increases, are parents and grandparents aware of the dangers regarding their own dental implants, fillings, crowns, and veneers?
Before digging into sugary Halloween treats, the experts at Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry suggest adults chew over these tips for maintaining a healthy mouth:
- Avoid sticky situations. Don’t disturb existing dental work by selecting the wrong types of candy. New fillings and crowns are especially subject to damage from chewy, sticky sweets we love like caramel, licorice, and taffy that can yank them right out.
- Choose chocolate. Believe it or not, opting for chocolate can lead to less cavities than stickier candies. The reason? Clingy treats like gummy worms adhere to teeth and gums, while chocolate dissolves more easily and washes off teeth faster than other goodies.
- Eat sweets with meals. Produced when we eat, saliva naturally washes away bacteria that lives inside our mouths. Therefore, it’s wise to save candy for dessert right after lunch or dinner. Plus, eating sweets with meals will ensure you’ll already being brushing soon anyways.
- Floss more frequently. You floss after eating a corn on the cob, so why not after a handful of candy corns? Flossing more around Halloween will prevent extra tartar and plaque build-up by removing unwanted morsels from nooks and crannies.
- Try not to be sour. Infamous for cracking crowns and chipping teeth, hard candies are more likely to cause cavities since they’re meant to be savored longer, giving juices more time to coat the mouth. Sour ones in particular produce far more acidity than chocolate, and feed the bacteria that can weaken a tooth’s outer shell or damage veneers.
- Drink more water. Witches may melt, but on Halloween water is your best friend. Drinking extra water from a glass, bottle, or cauldron will rinse away sugar and gunk that would otherwise remain settled on teeth, gums, and the tongue long after being consumed.
- Watch your diet. Devouring too much of a good thing can lead to health risks beyond weight gain and high blood pressure. While adults are quick to count calories come Halloween, it should be noted that Calcium-poor diets increase chances of developing gum disease and can lead to jaw deterioration. Essentially, healthy diets benefit our entire body—mouths included!
The best way to avoid a ghoulish grin is by maintaining good oral hygiene at home and making regular trips to the dentist. Contact us to schedule your next visit. With offices in Brookline and on Boston’s South Shore, Smileboston offers an array of cosmetic dentistry services, laser dentistry and full smile makeovers.