Halloween is known for fun costumes, spooky décor, and lots and lots of candy! In fact, the average American consumes over three pounds of candy this time of year. So, it’s not surprising that cases of tooth decay and cavities spike around this “spooktacular” holiday. Fortunately, you can help protect your smile by implementing the below tips from a cosmetic dentist in North Central San Antonio!
#1. Be Picky About the Candy You Eat
Mouth-puckering sour candies and deliciously sweet milk chocolate are just a few popular goodies that can find their way into your home. While indulging in a few pieces is a staple of Halloween, it is important to remember that not all candy is created equal. For example, hard candy can break or fracture your teeth with one wrong bite, and the acidic nature of sour candy can quickly erode the enamel on your teeth. Therefore, it is best to stick with milk or dark chocolate!
#2. Don’t Snack on Candy Throughout the Day
When the sugar in candy interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, it turns into an acid that can erode enamel and lead to tooth decay. Fortunately, saliva helps neutralize those acids and wash away food particles that cling to your teeth. Therefore, consider enjoying your candy of choice with or shortly after your meal, which is when saliva production increases.
#3. Drink Plenty of Water and Eat a Vitamin-Rich Diet
During Halloween time, candy is around every turn. Fortunately, you can indulge in your favorite candy guilt-free by implementing a nutrient-dense diet during the rest of the day. Leafy greens, calcium-rich cheese, fresh fruit, and crunchy vegetables are just a few foods that can keep your teeth healthy from the inside-out. Plus, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to wash away food particles while simultaneously staying hydrated!
#4. Don’t Go to Bed without Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth
When the temperature drops and the nights get longer, it can be difficult not to jump under your covers and watch your favorite TV show until you fall asleep. However, neglecting to brush and floss before bed allows the food particles, bacteria, and plaque to cling to your teeth for 7+ uninterrupted hours. Over time, this can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, especially if you indulge in candy before drifting off to sleep. To prevent this from happening, always complete your oral hygiene routine morning and night!
As the most candy-filled holiday approaches, remember to keep the above tips in mind to protect your smile. That way, you can keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape heading into the New Year!
About the Author
Since earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Dr. Brian L. Eck has spent the last 30+ years helping his patients achieve pristine oral health. Whether you are overdue for your routine appointment or your teeth need some post-Halloween TLC, Dr. Eck and his talented team are ready to help with everything from professional cleanings and restorative treatments to cosmetic dentistry. Don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 210-361-8905 to schedule an appointment!