It’s fun to wear vampire or zombie teeth to add the perfect touch to your Halloween costume, but you wouldn’t want to walk around with a scary smile every day. If you take a minute to think about your oral health, the spooky time of year includes plenty of threats to your oral health, like candy. Halloween doesn’t need to haunt your smile. Here are 4 tips from your cosmetic dentist to keep your teeth and gums healthy, no matter what you choose to wear.
1. Have Dessert Before Dinner
You’ve always been taught to eat your dinner before dessert, but your dentist recommends giving in to your sweet tooth. It’s best to eat candy with or shortly after a meal because it will help reduce the temptation to snack on it throughout the day. Not to mention, eating encourages saliva production, which helps cleanse your teeth between brushing and flossing to have less cavity-causing bacteria lingering in your mouth.
2. Choose Your Candy Wisely
You might believe all candy is bad for your smile, but some types are worse than others, like taffy. Sticky and chewy candy can cling to the crevasses of your teeth. It can be very difficult to remove, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Hard candies can be equally harmful because you must hold them in your mouth for several minutes. Your teeth will be bathed in sugar and exposed to it for longer, which can erode your enamel. If you chew hard candy to save your smile, you’re actually opening the door to a dental emergency. You don’t want to spend Halloween sitting in a dental chair because of a broken tooth.
Chocolate is considered best for your teeth because it’s easy to remove. Although your dentist recommends brushing your teeth after a chocolate bar, rinsing your mouth with water can remove the candy residue until you’re able to get to your toothbrush.
3. Keep Your Mouth Moist
Dry mouth increases the growth of harmful bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. While you’re out trick-or-treating, be sure to drink plenty of water. You’ll stay hydrated and keep your mouth moist. If you run out of water, chew a piece of sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production.
4. Don’t Forget to Brush and Floss
Your oral hygiene is more important than ever if you’re eating candy and sweets more frequently. The American Dental Association recommends using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice daily. Clean all surfaces for at least two minutes. Don’t forget to floss between each tooth daily.
If it has been over six months since your last cleaning and checkup, schedule an appointment with your dentist.
About Dr. Emily Brown
Dr. Brown earned her dental degree from the University Louisville School of Dentistry and has completed extensive advanced training in many specialties, including oral sedation, Invisalign, and dental implants. She can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Contact our office today for an appointment.