Dentists know a lot of candy will be eaten over the coming weeks by people of all ages, so there’s no need to try to hide it.
Instead, the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is pointing out some timely facts so that you can still enjoy the Halloween season and all the sweets and treats that come along with it, just with less guilt and hopefully, minimal damage to your teeth.
Best time to be sinful: While anytime may be the preferred time to eat candy, there’s a more strategic way to indulge without ruining your teeth. Having candy at the end of a meal will lessen the chance of eating too much of it. That’s also when your mouth has the most saliva going so it can help rinse away some of the sugary residue from your teeth.
Risky candies: Some sweets are less harmful to your teeth than others, so before you dig into your candy mountain, remember that lollipops and jaw breakers can chip teeth and take more time to dissolve, leaving sugar coating your mouth for a longer time. Caramels, chewy candies and even dried fruit can get stuck in between teeth and speed up tooth decay.
Liquid sugar threats: Sugar isn’t just in candy, it’s also in fruit juices, pop and mixed alcohol-based drinks, so follow up your sweet drink with water or chew sugar-free gum to neutralize sugar and acids.
Clean up the crime scene: There is a right way to care for your teeth after raiding the candy stash and it isn’t running to the washroom to brush immediately. Because the process of eating softens tooth enamel, it’s best to wait 30 minutes before giving your teeth a good brush and floss to make sure all sugar and candy is removed from the surface and crannies of your teeth.
ODA president Dr. LouAnn Visconti enjoys Halloween just like everyone else but stresses self-control.
“There’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, as long as it’s in moderation,” she said in a press release. “Be safe and have fun this Halloween season and, of course, be sure to brush your teeth, especially before bed time.”