A Barrie Dentist’s Strategies for a Healthier Halloween
Posted: October 29, 2021
Last Modified: June 6, 2022
As a Barrie dentistry office, we have a full list of things that, in a perfect world, every client would do: brush their teeth for a full two minutes, floss every day, avoid pop and other sugary drinks, and plenty of other little changes that would make a world of difference for their teeth.
But, we also realize that the world is much more complex than how we might like to lay it out on paper. Every once in a while, you’ll forget to brush your teeth. You’ll enjoy a sweet right before bed without drinking any water afterward. And on Halloween, you might filch a few candy bars from the kids’ pillowcase bags (or heck, you might even buy a full bag for yourself!).
Holidays were meant to be enjoyed, which is why this year, we’re NOT going to tell you to avoid candy on Halloween. Instead, we have some tips as to how you can have your chocolate and eat it, too, in a way that will help protect your teeth.
Set a limit for the sweets.
The key to almost everything good is moderation. Instead of indulging in some candy with the mindset of, “I’ll stop when my mouth is so sugary I can’t stand it anymore,” go in with a set limit of one or two pieces. You’ll not only make the candy last longer, but you’ll also help protect your teeth from prolonged exposure to sugar. Don’t forget to have a glass of water afterward to help rinse out any residual sugars.
Hoard the chocolate.
You heard us right – this is your invitation to not only indulge in chocolate but to make it your active goal to obtain primarily chocolate this Halloween. Chocolate, in addition to being creamy and delicious, also minimizes the time that any sugar (AKA plaque-and-tartar-forming bacteria food) comes into contact with your teeth.
Sticky candy, like toffee or caramel, adheres to your teeth and can be much harder to brush away, giving the bacteria in your mouth a gourmand feast that they can use to churn out unwanted plaque. Bonus points if you’ve got a soft spot for dark chocolate since that has a compound called Theobromine, which helps strengthen your enamel!
Enjoy the candy with a meal.
Instead of snacking whenever the urge strikes, make a point of saving your sweets to enjoy at the end of a meal. When you eat, you naturally produce saliva, which helps both to wash away food particles and replenish your enamel with minerals. By tacking the candy onto the end of a meal, you benefit from this natural process, which helps reduce the amount of potential harm the sugars could do.
Catch the craving with sugar-free gum.
You’ve already had your candy limit for the day, but you’re still aching for something to snack on. Treat yourself to some sugar-free gum instead! The extra saliva you produce while chewing will help clean your teeth, and you won’t be exposing your pearly whites to any extra sugar.
Don’t slack on your brushing and flossing.
It’s been a perfect evening – you’ve lounged on the couch with some scary movies, some tea, and some fun-sized candy bars. Your eyelids are drooping, and it’s time to call it a night. Walking into your bedroom, you have two choices: do you flop down on the bed and sink into sleep, or do you trudge to the bathroom and floss out those candy bits from your teeth?
Well, if you know how our dentist office rolls, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Choice #2 is always the one you should take. It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to your oral health, but now isn’t the time to slack off! Make it a goal to brush and floss your teeth every night before bed, no matter what.
If Your Teeth Twinge, It’s Time to Call
Despite your best efforts, you’re feeling occasional twinges in your teeth, especially when you eat or drink something sugary. That’s not just “a weird feeling.” It’s a sign that you might be developing cavities or another form of tooth decay. It’s also your signal that it’s time to call a dentist in Barrie who can get a better idea of what the problem is. At Dr. Elston Wong Dentistry, we’ll work together with you to develop a treatment plan and get your mouth back to optimum oral health.
If you’d like to learn more about the dentistry we provide at our Barrie office, give us a call at (705) 721-1143. You can also reach us directly online.