By Susan Walker
It’s fall! The time of year for changing leaves, pumpkins, ghosts – and of course, Halloween candy. Most of us know that sugar can be bad for our teeth, but it can be hard to avoid, especially with alluring bowls of sweet delights lurking about. Below are some tips to help you enjoy the temptations but also ensure your fangs remain in tip-top shape.
1. Caramels, toffees, chewy and gummy candies, the candies that stick to your teeth, can be the worst for your teeth! They are good at staying around long after you’ve finished enjoying them. Especially in deeper grooves on back molars, sticky sugar can get trapped and is hard to remove. Examples of these candies are Milky Ways, Skittles, and gummy bears.
2. Better candies for your teeth, though still very sweet, are treats like plain chocolate. These are your Hershey’s kisses or chocolate bars, simple and comforting. These candies don’t stay on your teeth as long or leave as much gunk on your teeth.
3. It’s better for your teeth to eat all the candy you plan on eating at once, as opposed to snacking throughout the day.
4. After eating candy, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth with water, as this helps keep the candy from sticking to your teeth until you’re able to brush and floss.
5. Most importantly, make sure to brush, floss, and rinse your teeth to remove candy residue before sleeping. Leaving the candy there overnight can mean the sugar stays in place for a long time and can lead to cavities.
As always, fluoride in toothpaste and rinses, is the best way to help keep enamel healthy, especially after sugary foods and drinks. Fluoride will help balance and re-strengthen any potential breakdown of enamel. You can find fluoride in almost all mainstream brands of toothpaste.