What’s your favorite part of Halloween? Maybe it’s the dressing up, the scary movies or the pumpkin carving. Or maybe, if you’re like many people, one of your favorite perks of the season is all the candy you can justify eating!
However, you probably know that binging on the sweets isn’t the best for you or your teeth. The sugar overload gives the bacteria living in your mouth a feast to feed on, causing them to give off acid that erodes your enamel. This can lead to gum disease and cavities if you’re not careful.
Luckily, we’ve got a couple tips for how to curb candy-caused tooth damage this Halloween season—none of which require giving up candy completely!
3 Tips to Protect Your Teeth During Halloween
Save the Candy for After Your Meal. It may seem counter intuitive, but eating candy after you’ve already eaten a meal is a good way to prevent the sugar from sticking to your teeth. When you eat, your mouth produces saliva that helps to rinse away harmful acids that damage enamel. It’s a good idea to skip snacking on candy throughout the day and instead concentrate your consumption after a meal when your saliva production is up and you’re less likely to go overboard.
Eat a Healthy Diet. The better you eat, the more you can afford to squeeze a few treats in between the healthy stuff. A balanced diet with fruits, veggies and whole grains will go a long way in maintaining oral and overall health. Some things to avoid—because they basically function like candy—are processed starches and sugary beverages like soda, juice and sweetened tea.
Choose Your Candy Wisely. Not all candies are created equally. Sticky treats like caramel and taffy are the absolute worst for your teeth since they tend to cling and get stuck in between. Hard candies are another that you should only eat sparingly. Since people tend to suck on them for a long period of time, the sugar hangs out for a while too. Some better choices include chocolate and peanut butter cups. These melt more than they stick and dissolve eventually. Pixie sticks are also a good pick for that reason.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!