Eating Halloween candy doesn’t have to result in dental decay
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Children everywhere are getting ready to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating for candy. This is also a time when parents and dentists will be looking for ways to prevent cavities in kids’ teeth.
The Oral Health Branch of the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), through creative collaboration and partnership, is dedicated to helping educate parents and children on ways to prevent dental decay. 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 candies that stick to teeth, like taffy and gummy bears. Sticky candies take longer to be washed away by saliva, which means there is a greater risk for tooth decay. Hard candies can actually break teeth, plus the candy stays in the mouth longer so the sugar is getting saliva and washing over teeth. Sour candy can be very acidic, and that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of teeth making them more vulnerable to cavities. Popcorn kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth. They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard. Chocolate is probably one of the better candies because it washes off teeth more easily than other types of candy. Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.
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.
For more information on how to prevent tooth decay, visit:
County health departments throughout Alabama provide a wide range of confidential and professional services. Call 1-800-545-1098 or contact your local county health department for additional information.
Mission: To promote, protect, and improve the health of individuals and communities in Alabama.
Vision: Assure the health of Alabamians by promoting healthy, safe, prepared, and informed communities.
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ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
RSA Tower 201 Monroe Street, Suite 910, Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 206-5300 | Fax: (334) 206-5520