It’s okay to eat that candy on Halloween, but it’s also important to have a plan. A good idea is to eat your Halloween treat with a meal. That's because saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
The best form of protection for your teeth is good dental hygiene habits throughout the year. Regardless of whether it is Halloween or any other day, the following tips can also help minimise sugar-related acid attacks on teeth:
Brush twice a day for two minutes and floss before bed;
Have a balanced diet made up of fresh foods such as vegetables, cheese and lean meats;
Avoid ‘grazing’ or snacking on sugary treats and sipping sugary drinks over a long period of time;
Eat lollies with lunch or dinner to neutralise sugary acids;
Drink more water and rinse your mouth with water after eating anything sugary;
Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva, which can neutralise the acid attacks;
Check the nutritional information of snacks that are marketed as ‘healthy’ – many foods contain high levels of sugar. Examples of these include dried fruit, biscuits (sweet and savoury), fruit juice, muesli bars, crackers, cereals, flavoured milk, sweetened yoghurt, fruit bars, fruit slice, flavoured popcorn, canned fruit, baked goods and banana bread;
Provide children with alternatives such as inexpensive toys and trinkets – there are many other ways to have fun on Halloween instead of sweets. Use Halloween this year as an opportunity to be creative.
Also, a good idea is to choose your candy carefully. Hard, sticky and sour candies are the ones to watch:
Hard candies can break your teeth. Plus, 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.
The stickier candies, like gummy bears, also take longer to get washed away by saliva.
Sour candy can be very acidic and that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth.