It’s finally that time of year again – when people dress up as spooky monsters like vampires or witches. Your costume might include glow-in-the-dark fangs or false decaying teeth. But you wouldn’t want your teeth to look that scary all the time, would you? Of course not! Here are four tips from a cosmetic dentist on how to keep your smile beautiful and healthy this Halloween.
Eat Candy with Meals Instead of Snacking on It All Day
Your mouth produces more saliva during mealtimes. Not only does saliva rinse away excess food debris, but it can neutralize some of the cavity-causing acids created by the bacteria in your mouth. Eating sweets with meals rather than grazing on them throughout the day decreases the amount of time that your teeth are exposed to sugar. This increases your risk of developing cavities.
Choose Your Candy Wisely
Some types of candy are less mouth-healthy than others. Hard and sticky sweets are arguably the worst offenders. Sticky candies, like gummies, take a long time to get washed away by saliva. As a result, they’re more likely to cause cavities. Hard candies can damage your teeth whether you bite them or suck on them. Biting them can fracture a tooth, and sucking on them coats your teeth in sugar, giving bacteria ample time to wreak havoc.
Chocolate is a great alternative because it washes off the teeth easily. Dark chocolate is even better since it has less sugar.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking more water is almost always beneficial for your health. Like saliva, water rinses leftover food particles off of your teeth. If you’re ever in a situation where you can’t brush your teeth after eating, swishing some water around in your mouth can clear away some of the lingering sugar.
Water can also help you avoid the temptation to snack on sweets between meals. Sometimes, feeling like you’re hungry is a sign of dehydration. Try drinking some water and see if your urge to munch on candy remains. In many cases, it shouldn’t.
Brush and Floss Before Bed
Halloween night can be busy and fun. When you get home, it can be tempting to head straight to bed. Whatever you do, do not fall asleep without brushing and flossing first. Otherwise, bacteria from the foods and drinks you consumed that day remain on your teeth and contribute to tooth decay.
Just because your Halloween costume is scary doesn’t mean your teeth also have to be that way. Follow these tips to keep your smile healthy and safe!
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Remmers is a general and cosmetic dentist in Louisville, KY with almost 30 years of experience. Since studying dentistry at the University of Louisville, he has joined a number of professional organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. He offers multiple cosmetic services, such as veneers and teeth whitening, to brighten your smile ahead of the holiday season. To keep your smile shining this Halloween, you can contact Remmers Dental Group at (502) 499-0234.