Reader's Digest recently did an article titled Top 5 Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth, According to Dentists. It was an excellent article and very appropriate for the season! As highlighted in the article, sour and chewy candies are one of the worst. Sour Patch Kids is an example of this type of candy. The combination of acid and sugar is just what bacteria need to flourish and create cavities in our mouth.
Being realists, we understand that many children and adults will partake in the cornucopia of candy being given this Halloween. In fact, you'll probably see both Dr. Carlile and Dr. Birch munching on some! So here are a few things that you can do to help lower your risk of cavities:
1. Eat candy shortly after or during mealtime: Saliva flow is generally at peak levels during our meals. Saliva is an excellent buffer that cancels out acids produced by bacteria.
2. Drink water: Water is an excellent way to wash out food debris and buffer against the acidic environment that bad bacteria thrive in.
3. Brush your teeth twice a day: We often brush our teeth in the morning to avoid "morning breath", but brushing at night is even more important. As we sleep our saliva flow decreases creating an environment in which bad bacteria can thrive. So remember, brush for 2 minutes twice a day!
4. Floss: Flossing between your teeth helps get rid of food in the hard to get places between your teeth.
5. Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular dental visits aid in catching cavities early. If cavities are still in the enamel the decay process can potentially be stopped by preventive measures.
This list is just a few of the many ways to help you this Halloween season. Check out the American Dental Association's Halloween candy survival guide and their Halloween headquarters for more resources and tips!