San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Halloween is the time of year that’s full of scary fun, but there’s nothing fun about getting cavities. With candy within easy reach throughout the Halloween season (and the holidays that follow), all that tooth-rotting sugar can have a ghoulish impact on teeth. Glen Park Dental understands you want to enjoy Halloween, so we wanted to provide some tips on how to safeguard your teeth while enjoying all the scares and sweets.
- Increase your dental hygiene regimen – The American Dental Association recommends that each person brush their teeth twice a day and floss daily. You probably already know this, but during times of the year like Halloween when your consumption of sweets is going to increase, you should beef up your oral care routine. Now is not the time to forget to brush your teeth before bed. Brush your teeth after you’ve consumed candy if you are able. This will help prevent the build-up of sugary particles on your teeth, a favored food source of the bacteria that cause cavities. Those bacteria convert those sugars into acids, doing damage to your tooth enamel, and raising your overall risk of getting cavities.
- Not all treats are created equal – Certain sweets in that trick-or-treat bucket (we know you’ll comb through your kid’s candy bucket!) pose a greater threat to your oral health. Hard candies, for example, can chip or crack teeth or do damage to existing restorations in your mouth like fillings. You also should watch out for too many candies that are very chewy or sticky, which can adhere more easily to the surfaces of your teeth. Also, avoid highly acidic treats—such as sour candies. The high acid content that exists in this candy ends up being exposed directly to your teeth. Many of these sour candies also are made to remain in the mouth for a long time. The most smile-friendly type of Halloween treat actually is chocolate, which dissolves fairly quickly in the mouth.
- Remember moderation – You don’t want to deny your kids the fun of Halloween (including the candy), but you don’t want them to go wild on sugary treats, either. This is a fine chance to teach your children the importance of balance. Try to portion out those trick-or-treat treasures to be eaten in small amounts in a single sitting. Avoid letting your kids munch or graze on candy throughout the day, because that’s basically like bathing their teeth in sugar. A once and done approach is better than snacking on it throughout the day. You can encourage moderation by offering to “buy back” some of the surplus candy from Halloween, or set up a candy bank at home that lets your kids make daily withdrawals.
Family dentistry in San Francisco
Glen Park Dental wants you and your family to enjoy Halloween, but not at the expense of doing serious damage to your oral health. We offer a comprehensive program of kids care to help protect your children against tooth decay and other threats to oral health. Ready to find out more? Call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500 to schedule a consultation. We welcome patients of Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco.