Halloween is one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year. Who doesn’t love dressing up in costume and going on an adventurous pursuit for candy? As Halloween has just passed, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that everyone has a safe and healthy holiday. Not only can Halloween pose some safety risks while trick or treating in the dark, but the bounty of candy can pose some dental health risks as well. Here are some tips for how to keep your teeth and gums healthy this Halloween season.
Which candies are particularly harmful to my teeth?
All candies are made up of sugar, and if sugar is not properly removed from your teeth it can lead to cavities. Candies that are extra sticky (think toffees, caramel, sticky gummies) are more of a concern because they will adhere to your teeth more readily. Chocolate bars without sticky ingredients (think Aero, Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp) are less harmful as they will not stick to the teeth as much. Remember, though, that all sugar can potentially lead to cavities!
What about if I am wearing braces?
The glue that holds braces on teeth can be very sensitive. If you eat sticky or hard foods the braces are likely to be broken. This can prolong your orthodontic treatment. If you are wearing braces during Halloween, it is a good idea to stick to softer candies (ex. Aero, Kit Kat) rather than sticky gummies to avoid breaking your appliances. Another option is to donate your candy to the Swap Your Sweets program so that other children can have a chance to enjoy some Halloween candy.
What should I do to keep my teeth from getting cavities after I eat candy?
Brushing your teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing once a day is very important to maintain good oral health. If you eat a very sugary snack, make sure you rinse with water and brush your teeth after. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting cavities!
I over-indulged on my (or my child’s) candy and I still have a ton left over. What can I do with all of the excess?
Swap your Sweets at Forest Hill Orthodontics! At FHO, we have been running the Swap Your Sweets program for almost 10 years! For every pound of donated candy, we will reward our patients with extra Bruno Bucks, which can be traded in for prizes. We will also donate one dollar for every pound of candy we collect to the school of the children who have donated the most candy. This money can be used to improve the student’s education. Lastly, the extra candy is given to children who otherwise do not have the opportunity to enjoy in Halloween festivities. Swapping your sweets is a win-win-win!