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Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Halloween

halloween and the dentistHalloween can be a scary time for dental health. First, there’s a higher risk of cavities from all the extra sugar. Then, there’s an increased risk of damage like cracked teeth, loose fillings, and broken braces. Here’s how to keep your teeth healthy during Halloween so you can have a bright smile all year round.

Halloween Tooth Care Tips

Be Careful What You Eat.

Some types of Halloween treats scare dentists more than others. Here are a few that you should steer clear of:

  • Hard candies
  • Caramel popcorn
  • Candy with nuts—biting down on hard things like popcorn kernels can crack your teeth, scratch your gums, or damage dental work.
  • Sticky candies like caramels and taffy—these candies cling to your teeth, exposing them to sugar for extended lengths of time. And if you wear braces, sticky candies are the worst!
  • Candy apples and dried fruit—these treats are so sticky and chewy that they can pull out fillings, loosen crowns, or pop a bracket off if you wear braces.

When it comes to Halloween treats, choose wisely! Melty candies like chocolate are the safest treats for teeth—even though they’re still high in sugar, your saliva will be able to wash chocolate away, and it won’t stay on your teeth as long as the sugars from hard or sticky candies do.

Wait 30-60 minutes to brush your teeth.

Brushing your teeth right after eating candy may do more harm than good. When you eat sugar, it feeds the bacteria in your mouth. When bacteria eat sugar, they release acids that attack your tooth enamel and cause cavities. Because acids temporarily soften your enamel, it’s best to wait a bit before brushing.

Instead, drink a glass of water—it will help neutralize the acid and wash away bacteria. Plus, the minerals in the water will help rebuild your tooth enamel and make it strong again. Then, after enough time has passed, brush with fluoride toothpaste. For extra protection, rinse with fluoride mouthwash.

If you get any candy stuck in your teeth, floss right away.

Leaving shards of candy between your teeth or stuck along your gum line invites bacteria to grow. Then they form plaque that sticks to your teeth and produces acids that wear away your tooth enamel and irritate your gums.

The best way to get something out from between your teeth is to use plain, waxed dental floss. DO NOT use your fingernail, a toothpick, the tines of a fork, or anything else that could scratch your gums or splinter and make the situation worse.

If there’s something that’s really wedged in, don’t try to force it out—you could break your tooth! Make an urgent appointment with your dentist to get it removed.

Get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist.

Professional cleaning could be just what you need to keep scary things like gum disease and tooth decay away. Dental hygienists can remove plaque from below your gum line and all the other places that brushing and flossing don’t reach. They can even remove tartar, a hardened form of plaque that an ordinary toothbrush can’t handle.

Dental hygienists can also spot problems like tooth fractures or loose fillings, and ask your dentist to take a closer look. Then, if you need a filling or restoration work, you can make an appointment to get it taken care of before the problem grows worse.

Dedicated Dental Care in Boerne, Texas

The team at Premier Dental Center all hope that you have a safe and happy Halloween! If you want to come in for a cleaning after all your treats are gone, we’d be glad to see you. We also offer emergency appointments if you happen to crack a tooth or lose a filling. Give us a call if it’s an emergency, or schedule an appointment for a cleaning online anytime.

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