At ZDental, we’re dedicated to promoting good oral health, not just in the Philadelphia, PA and New Jersey area where we work, but throughout the entire country.  Of course, when Halloween rolls around, our job becomes that much more critical.  Millions of kids (and adults too) all over America will soon be chowing down on chocolate bars, lollipops, and all sorts of other sweet treats.  While sugar itself doesn’t actually damage your teeth, it does foster the growth of acid-producing bacteria, whose activities can lead to tooth decay and cavities.  For those of you who might be overindulging on Halloween candy in the next few weeks, here are a few tips to help you keep your teeth happy and healthy!

Timing is Everything

When you eat sugary foods like Halloween candy, bacteria go to work immediately, leaching away minerals like calcium and phosphates that keep your teeth strong.  Luckily your saliva contains many of these same substances, as well as fluoride, which help to replenish lost minerals and undo the damage caused by bacterial action.  That’s why it’s best to reserve your Halloween candy binges for times when you’ll be salivating the most, like after meals.  If you want to keep your teeth in good shape, eat your favorite candy as a dessert and try to avoid snacking on it throughout the day.

Watch Out for Sticky Treats

The more time sugar spends in contact with your teeth, the more pronounced the negative effects will be.  Some candies, like chocolate bars, dissolve quickly, leaving little residue behind.  Others, like hard candy, caramels, and sugary gums, stay in your mouth for a long time or leave sticky residues that can remain for hours.  If you have a sweet tooth for sticky caramels, hard candies, or sugary chewing gum, it’s ok to enjoy them in moderation as long as you make sure to remove any sticky residue before you go on about your day.

Clean Teeth after Eating

That brings us to our next point: proper cleaning.  As we said, there’s nothing wrong with eating candy as long as you don’t allow sugary residue to linger.  For best results, brush and floss after your next candy binge.  If you’re not able to brush, rinsing your mouth out with clear water can remove the bulk of the residue, just be sure to brush as soon as you’re able to.  You can even schedule a fluoride treatment with your dentist in Trenton this November to help replenish the minerals your teeth need to remain strong for years to come!

For good oral health, it’s best to avoid sugar as much as possible.  We know the Halloween season can be tempting, and it’s ok to have a few pieces of candy every now and then.  As long as you properly clean your teeth after eating sugary foods, you’ll be putting your body’s own natural defenses in the best possible position to repair any damage caused.  Follow the tips listed above this Halloween, and you won’t have to schedule an appointment for a cavity filling in November!

For residents of the Philadelphia, PA area and New Jersey, ZDental has 5 different locations to serve you!  Visit our contact page to find the location closest to you and give us a call to schedule an appointment.  We’ll help you keep your teeth strong so you can enjoy that Halloween candy for many years to come!