Trick or treat? It’s the well-known greeting of countless children going door to door asking for sweet treats on Halloween. Though they are likely not threatening to engage in mischievous pranks, they may actually be flirting with trouble. Tooth decay goes into overdrive during the holidays. With sugar as its fuel, plaque—the bacteria that lives on teeth and gums—produces acid that causes tooth enamel to breakdown, resulting in tooth decay.
To prevent tooth decay, Dakota Dental Apple Valley Dental Clinic and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend eating sugary treats with meals since saliva produced during mealtimes helps to neutralize acids and to rinse away food particles. Additionally, Dakota Dental children’s dentists and the ADA suggest avoiding candies that stay in the mouth for extended periods of time or cling to teeth—candies such as hard candy, gummies, or taffy. These create an environment perfect for plaque activity and acid erosion.
Dakota Dental’s dentists in Apple Valley encourage you to protect your teeth and those of your children during the holiday season. When Halloween booty is hauled in, sort it into two piles: one for hard or super sticky candies and one for other candies (such as chocolate bars). Bring the first pile to Dakota Dental and trade it for a gift; then, choose a few pieces from the second pile to eat at one time. Be sure to finish the treat-eating sessions with a dental care regime that includes brushing. Finally, don’t forget to make a cleaning appointment at Dakota Dental family dentistry to get the Halloween sugar off and to get sparkling pearly whites just in time for holiday family photos.
There are also measures you can take to preserve the health of your children and those that visit your door before Halloween arrives. When preparing to hand out treats, make smart choices. Buy as close to the evening as possible to minimize temptation within your own household. Choose packages of miniature chocolate bars, organic dried apple slices, pretzels, or cheese and crackers. Even better, consider non-food items such as pencils or activity books to avoid future dental emergencies or other preventable dental work.
Plan to bring your candy to Dakota Dental for our Halloween candy buy back. We’re offering cool gifts in exchange for your sweet treats and a grand prize for the one with the heaviest amount. Call Dakota Dental for full details!