October is here and that means children everywhere will be getting ready to gorge on and stockpile candy from Halloween. This also means that parents and dentists everywhere will be looking for ways to regulate candy consumption.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) Oral Health Branch, through creative collaboration and partnership, is dedicated to making sure resources are available to help educate parents and children on ways to prevent dental decay. For that reason, here are a few tips from the American Dental Association to make sure this year’s Halloween candy haul is cavity free.
Timing is everything with most things in life, and choosing when to eat Halloween candy is no different. Saliva production increases during meals, which helps to cancel out acids produced by bacteria in the mouth. Choosing to eat sugary snacks with meals or shortly after mealtime can help reduce the effects of tooth decay due to this increase in saliva.
Drink More Water
Multiple sources such as the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Dental Association support proven studies that drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. In most cases, tap water is preferred to bottled water because it guarantees the consumption of fluoride as an oral health measure.
Avoid Sticky Candies
Avoid candies that stick to teeth, like taffy and gummy bears. Sticky candies take longer to get washed away by saliva which means there is a greater risk for tooth decay.
Brush Twice a Day
The buildup of plaque that causes gum disease takes just 24 hours to develop. Brushing and flossing teeth in the morning and at night before bed will help prevent the onset of tooth decay. Remember to replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
Cash for Candy
Did you know there are programs that will give you cash for your candy? One such organization is called Halloween Candy Buy Back, and will actually pay $1 per every pound of candy that a child collects! The donated candy is then shipped to troops serving the U.S. overseas. For more information about this program, and to find a participating dental office near you, visit: halloweencandybuyback.com.
For more information on how to prevent tooth decay this holiday season, visit: