Smile Brightly This Halloween – Learn How Candy Affects Your Teeth
It’s October which means it’s not only a spooky season, but it’s also Halloween candy season. In other words, the stuff that gives dentists nightmares. No, we love Halloween candy, too, but it’s important to understand how candy affects your teeth so that you can enjoy it responsibly without harming your oral health.
How Candy Affects Teeth
To understand how candy affects the health of your teeth and gums, you first need to know that our mouths are filled with bacteria, and these bacteria feast on sugar. That’s right; they feast on the sugar that’s found in candy and other sweet foods and beverages.
When bacteria eat sugar, they release acid as a form of waste. This acid eats away at your tooth enamel (the hard mineral surface of the teeth) and breaks it down. This process is called tooth decay, and left unaddressed, tooth decay eventually leads to cavities in the teeth.
In addition to causing cavities, the bacteria in your mouth can also cause an infection of the gums known as periodontal disease (also called gum disease). Gum disease has all sorts of scary symptoms that affect the health of the teeth and gums in addition to the general health of the body. So, exposing the harmful bacteria in your mouth to large amounts of sugar can cause them to multiply, worsening your chances of developing gum disease.
How to Enjoy Candy Safely at Halloween
While sugar can be harmful to your teeth by increasing their exposure to bacteria and acid in the mouth, you can still safely enjoy a few sweet treats during the holiday season.
- Avoid Sticky Candy – Sticky candies like gummies and taffy cling to the tooth enamel and can be more difficult to clean off. They also take a long time to dissolve away from the surface of the teeth.
- Limit Your Time Eating Candy – Avoid sucking on lollipops or hard candies. The more time you spend eating candy, the longer your teeth are exposed to acid.
- Rinse With Water – Rinse your mouth out with water after eating sugar.
- Brush After 30 Minutes – After eating candy, wait 30 minutes for your saliva to remineralize your teeth before brushing.
Post-Halloween Dental Cleanings in La Mesa
If you choose to indulge this Halloween, we encourage you to schedule a post-holiday dental checkup and cleaning at Cardinal Dental to keep your teeth in top shape.