Halloween is every sweet tooth’s dream come true. From festive cupcakes to miniature chocolate bars to candy corn, you’ll encounter enough sugar to fill your bathtub. Although we all know sugar leads to cavities, we try to justify our indulgence during Halloween by telling ourselves it’s only one day. After all, what damage could one day do?
The truth is that one day can do a lot of damage, especially if all that sugar gets the opportunity to build up and linger in your mouth. This is because sugar causes your mouth to become acidic, creating a safe haven for harmful bacteria to haunt your gums and teeth. When that happens, you’re not only at risk for cavities, you are also at risk for gum disease, infected teeth, and scaring others away with bad breath.
Fortunately, there are easy ways to ensure your mouth is scare-free this Halloween:
Chew sugar-free gum sweetened with Xylitol.
Need a way to stop those candy cravings? Chewing gum keeps your mouth busy and cravings at bay, so you aren’t tempted to munch on Skittles and Starbursts all day. The deal gets even sweeter with xylitol gum because xylitol is not only a natural sweetener, it fights against harmful bacteria and cleans the sugar off your teeth.
Drink water. Then drink more water.
Nothing chases the witches away like good ole H2O. Well, in this case, the witches are sugar, but water is always going to be a good way to clean your mouth out. If you absolutely can’t fight the temptation to steal some of that candy corn, make sure you rinse with water to wash out some of the sugar that has collected around your teeth.
Get creative with healthy treats.
Healthy food can get festive, too. Instead of binging on the sugar, why not dip some apples in dark chocolate and paint on some fun designs? Although dark chocolate still has some sugar, it has less than hard candies, and it melts quickly so the sugar doesn’t get the chance to stick to your teeth. Enjoying an apple and getting a daily dose of dietary fiber. There are also plenty of recipes out there to turn other fruits and fresh veggies into a Halloween-style dish.
Make sure to brush.
You probably won’t stay away from sweets entirely, so just make sure you brush your teeth 30 minutes to an hour after eating anything sugary. This helps rid your teeth of any sugar. If you want to go the extra measure, try using an alkaline mouthwash to rebalance your mouth’s pH.
Stay away from hard candies.
The more time sugar spends in your mouth, the more damage it causes. Hard candies are meant to be sucked, which means all that sugar has more time to nestle in between your teeth and cause your mouth to become acidic. Powdery candies and chocolate are preferred alternatives because they have less exposure-time to your pearly whites.
...AVOID STICKY CANDIES LIKE GUMMY BEARS AND TAFFY TOO
At the end of the day Halloween is all about family and tradition - dressing up, making our own costumes, and being neighborly. Sugar and candy don't have to be focal to this great holiday. Let's all work together to make sure our "missing teeth" and gag jokes at the nights end are not permanent.