As a concerned parent who can’t bear the thought of depriving your children of their trick and treat candy experience and yet worry about the consequences on their delicate teeth, here’s how you can eat the cake and keep it too!
Incidentally, both, parents and children will love a recent study by Mark Helpin of Temple University. According to the study, it’s not how much candy you eat during Halloween but the frequency with which you pop candy into your mouth that matters. He says it’s okay to eat as much candy as you want (within reasonable limits of course!) but restrict the number of times you do it. Helpin also says that the safest time to eat candy to your heart’s content is during mealtimes – preferably before or after mealtimes.
Let’s find out why and also check out some other tips that’ll keep dental cavities at bay during Halloween and beyond….
Helpin explains that every time you eat something sweet, the pH value in the mouth shoots up to acidic levels, and stays that way for up to an hour. Such conditions help boost cavity formation in the teeth. So, constantly munching on candy or other food means that the pH levels in the mouth never get a chance to return to normal. Instead, enjoying candy along with their regular meals would mean that you’re limiting the number of times that acidic conditions are created in your kids’ mouths.
While it isn’t practical to choose the candy we receive from others, we can certainly set a precedent by wisely choosing the candies we gift out. When shopping, stay away from candies that are hard, sticky or powdery. Such candies tend to stick to teeth and their acidic content stays on in the mouth for longer periods. Candy with nut-fillings is a good option. Given the fact that it’s loaded with health benefits and is also easy on the teeth, Chocolate is the best option for Halloween treats.
Make a habit of chewing sugarless gum after mealtimes. The chewing action activates the salivary glands which release more saliva into the mouth, thus diluting the acid content and keeping cavities in check. When choosing sugar-free chewing gum, look out for the ADA seal to be doubly sure that you and your family are getting the right gum to chew upon.
Water is healthy, zero calorific and dilutes the acidic levels in the mouth. Taking a sip of water at brief intervals and also rinsing the mouth with water after chewing candy is an effective way to reduce the impact of candy and sugary stuff on teeth.
Halloween is a special time, and you require a special plan to limit tooth decay during this period. With the bounty of candy available so conveniently, you need to decide how much sweet and sugary stuff you have in the house. All the excess candy in your house must make its way out – simply donate it to charities and those who need it but can’t afford. Spread smiles and keep your teeth healthy.
Visit your dentist this season! October is National Dental Hygiene Month and Signature Smile Dental is here to provide checkups before and after Halloween.
Dr. Inna Trogan – DDS is experienced in cosmetic dentistry, periodontics, and general dentistry. An active member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Dental Association, Dr. Trogan continuously stays up-to-date on the latest state-of-the-art technologies and advances in dentistry. She takes personal pride in providing courteous and high quality professional treatment for all of her patients’ dental care needs.
Our dentists have served the residents of Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, and all of our other surrounding communities for years. They can be reached by phone, 718.246.5677 or at their office in 100 Pineapple Walk, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201. You can also book an appointment online.