It’s officially fall! Pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pies and candy filled Halloween bags are just around the corner. While fall may be filled with some of your favorite things, it’s also a time to think about your families smile and how all these sweets could be harmful to their teeth.

Candy on Halloween doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. Let’s talk about a few tips and tricks to keep your teeth healthy and white this fall!

Keep Your Hand Out of the Candy Jar

Snacking on sweets can increase your risk of cavities. We recommend eating your Halloween candy and other sugary treats shortly after mealtime. This ensures that the extra saliva you produce while eating can work to rinse away any food particles left on your teeth.

Family Friendly Idea: Make a candy bank and allow your child to make daily withdrawals from the bank all while monitoring the progress. This way, you can control how much candy your child consumes in a fun way!

Cool Candy

Go trick or treating on a full stomach. Staying full can limit the urge to gorge on Halloween sweets. After you’ve been trick or treating, try to filter through the candy you’ve collected and remove any of the “un-cool” candy.

Some candy can be “cooler” (cough cough healthier) than others. For example, hard candies like taffy, lollipops and caramels can stay in your mouth for a long time and stick to your teeth. These candies, in addition to chewy and acidic candies, can increase the chance of tooth decay.

Choose candies that can be eaten quickly and read nutrition labels to avoid foods and drinks loaded with sugar, fructose and other sweeteners.

Brush your Teeth

While avoiding certain candies and not having sugary snacks all day can help you avoid damage to your smile, brushing your teeth is the most effective solution. If you have a sugary treat or designate a treat time for your family, make sure they brush right after! This ensures your saliva doesn’t have to do all the work.

Children (and adults) should brush at least twice a day for two minutes with a small (pea-sized) amount of fluoridated toothpaste and rinse with a fluoridated mouth rinse.

Toothbrush Tip: Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months. If the bristles are frayed and worn, the toothbrush won’t be able to do its job. In addition to brushing your teeth, don’t forget to follow up with flossing! Flossing your teeth once a day can rid your smile of decay-causing bacteria that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach.

If you do overindulge in these treats you may be more likely to suffer from tooth decay. At the Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we can treat the consequences of tooth decay, whether mild or severe. Our knowledgeable team is here and ready to help answer any of your questions related to tooth extraction, dental implants and more!

Regular visits to Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early. So treat yourself this Halloween, but keep the above tips and tricks in your back pocket.