Halloween is here which means bags of free candy and a chance to stock up on sweets for the winter. However, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges! It’s okay to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan after the fun has subsided.
TIME IT RIGHT
Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
STAY AWAY FROM SWEET SNACKS
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing those sugary treats from the candy bowl.
CHOOSE CANDY CAREFULLY
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
AVOID STICKY SITUATIONS
Sticky candy clings to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
HAVE A PLAN
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. “Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest,” Dr. Z says! And of course, make sure you are keeping up with your brushing twice daily with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste and flossing once nightly!