All Posts tagged Halloween

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween

Whether you have little ghost and goblins around the house or not, the lure of Halloween candy and treats will be all around this month. If you do have young ones, there are a few tips we can offer before their inevitable increase of candy consumption.

Halloween Tips:

  • For Safety: Inspect any candy received during trick or treating adventures.
  • For Health: Limit the amount of sweets they consume. Ensure they eat a large, healthy meal before they venture out (if they are not hungry, they will be less likely to sneak too many treats during their journey).
  • For their teeth: Speak to us about dental sealants to offer increased protection for their teeth.
  • Ensure they eat any treat during a short period of time (to reduce the exposure to their teeth). Encourage them to rinse with water immediately after they consume any sugary or starchy treat. Limit sticky and hard candies, especially for those with braces. Ensure they brush and floss at least twice daily.
  • For you: Wait until a day or two before Halloween to purchase any candy. If it’s not in the house you won’t eat it.
  • Stay away from the candies you bought for Trick or Treaters. If you need a treat, reward yourself with something responsible and more health conscious (a piece of imported dark chocolate often hits the spot).

Take any leftover candies to your office in the morning so they are not around your home to tempt you.

What Treats to Avoid:

It is almost impossible to completely avoid candy at Halloween. From school parties and trick-or-treating to gifts from relatives and candy exchanges among friends, Halloween activities revolve around sweet treats. So why not help your kids snack on candies that impact oral health the least?

Hard Candy
You might think sticky, gooey candies would harm teeth the most, but they do not. Lollipops and hard candies lingering in your child’s mouth subject the teeth to the most dental damage. Unless you choose sugar-free hard candies, you are putting your child’s teeth at risk for prolonged acid attacks, which can lead to tooth decay.

If gourmet lollipops top the list of favorites at Halloween, try to take sips of water as you suck on the candy. Then follow up with a thorough tooth and tongue brushing, and rinse with a child-safe mouthwash to whisk away any lingering sugars.

Sticky Treats
From gummy worms to caramels, sticky candies are plentiful during Halloween. These soft candies tend to stick to the teeth and linger long after the treat has been enjoyed. To reduce dental damage, enjoy one piece at a time, and make sure your child chews it fully. It is a good idea to incorporate these treats into mealtime so that hard foods, such as carrot sticks or almonds, can help to dislodge the sticky treats from crevices in the teeth.

Chewing Gum
Surprisingly, one of the safest Halloween treats to enjoy is gum. Although it lingers in the mouth, gum stimulates extra saliva production, which naturally rinses the mouth and keeps plaque-causing bacteria at bay.

To keep your little one’s oral health on track, choose sugar-free, all-natural gum sweetened with fruit juices approved by the ADA. Always monitor your children when they chew gum to reduce risk of choking.

Your little ones can still enjoy sweet treats on Halloween, but take note of what these sugary snacks do to their oral health. Try to combine the sweets with food or water, follow up with a tooth brushing and choose sugar-free varieties as much as possible.


Halloween Advice from a Dentist

Halloween Advice from a Dentist

What holiday worries dentists everywhere? Halloween. Although it’s a time for shrieks, costumes and lots of candy, this haunted holiday can wreak havoc on your kids’ (and your) teeth. But it doesn’t have to. Avoid a filling appointment by following these Halloween tips from your Ottawa dentist, Dr. Jaleel, for better oral care.

Pick Wisely

Some candies and sweets are worse than others with respect to the health of your teeth. If you’re family is going to indulge this Halloween, take out the treats your kids bring back that are considered the worst for your mouth. Those that can do the most damage tend to linger – hard candies and sticky treats such as caramels and taffy.

Set Limits

When it comes to eating that Halloween candy, timing is important. Don’t nurse it throughout the day or let your child eat it subconsciously while watching a movie. Instead, snack during specific times: Right after a meal is usually best, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), as the saliva you produce in your mouth during your meal will help to rinse away the sugar and candy bits – reducing the risk of cavities.

Another way to set limits is to have your child pick out no more than a few favorites from his or her trick or treat bag. Let them have a sweet after dinner for a few days after Halloween, then donate the rest.


Pause for Brushing

Although hurrying to the bathroom to brush your teeth after popping a few treats might sound like a good idea, it’s actually better to wait a bit. Brushing right after eating acidic foods can actually damage your teeth. Why? Some foods soften your enamel, so if you brush right after eating them, you risk hurting your enamel further while it’s still sensitive.

For this reason, drink water to rinse away the sugar after eating, but wait at least 30 minutes before you brush. When it is time to brush your teeth, use a fluoride toothpaste to further protect your mouth from cavities and decay.

Be Cautious about Costuming

It’s not just candy that can damage your teeth at Halloween. You also want to be particularly careful with what you put on your teeth in terms of makeup. Use only cosmetics designed for use in your mouth when decorating your or your child’s teeth. Although you might come across video tutorials telling you to use eyeliner to fake a missing tooth, it’s best to look for tooth blackout wax instead. When you use this wax, be careful about eating or drinking. Wait until you’ve washed the wax off before you consume anything, in order to avoid accidentally swallowing it. Usually, the wax comes off easily with just water.

Think twice before using any goofy fake teeth or prosthetics this Halloween, too. They won’t cause cavities, but there have been cases of these products containing high levels of lead. In fact, in 2008, a brand of fake teeth was recalled for containing this hazardous element, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Talk to your dentist if you need any Halloween tips concerning prosthetics or using any kind of cosmetics on your teeth.

Cavities don’t have to be the scariest thing about Halloween. Limit your candy and sweets and take care to protect your teeth, and you’ll find that the ghosts, goblins and other holiday frights are much scarier than onset tooth decay.