Tip or Treat: Ways to keep teeth healthy through Halloween

(BPT) - There’s nothing spooky about it — everyone loves Halloween treats. But did you know that you may have ‘candy thieves’ in your house? Parents of trick-or-treaters are the culprits as they are just as guilty when it comes to enjoying candy. According to a recent survey* from ARM & HAMMER(TM) Spinbrush(TM), two-thirds of parents admitted to sneaking candy from their children’s Halloween stash, and 63% confessed to purposely buying extra candy for trick-or-treaters, just to make sure they’d be able to enjoy some leftovers.

Despite their indulgence, 8 in 10 parents surveyed said that they worried about oral health and cavities in the days following Halloween, for both themselves and their children.

To help parents and their kids keep their teeth healthy while enjoying their Halloween treats, ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush expert Dr. Derek Wallin, DDS offers his tips:

1. Be Thoughtful

Halloween is one of our favorite excuses for indulging in sweet treats like candy – even dentists are guilty of this! While this can be unavoidable, there is such a thing as good versus bad candy, so it is best to be thoughtful, and limit intake or choose carefully. Chewy and sticky sweets, like gummies and taffy, are the worst for you, because they can get stuck in between teeth and under your gums, where it’s hard to reach. I recommend opting for chocolate or sugar-free candies to minimize sugar and plaque buildup. Regardless of the type of treats you choose, remember to eat them in moderation and practice proper oral care.

2. Choose Wisely

We all have different needs and preferences when it comes to oral care, but everyone needs the essential tools to keep teeth healthy and strong. I recommend ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush as a perfect option for the whole family! The Pro White and Pro Clean adult brushes have a dual-action technology with a spinning head that cleans and polishes teeth, while the up and down movement of the brush bristles scrub away plaque from hard to reach areas. The kids’ battery-powered toothbrushes have smaller, soft-bristle power heads to fit smaller mouths, and come in characters, like PAW Patrol, Vampirina and Jurassic World – which all make brushing more fun! Visit ArmandHammer.com to see the latest Spinbrushes for both kids and their parents.

3. Two-Minute Rule...

Keeping a routine can be tough during times when we’re prone to get a little candy crazy, or after late nights when all we want to do is head straight for bed. However, consistency is key, even with oral hygiene, and instilling habits early on is the best way to go. Lead by example and enforce a brushing routine with yourself and your kids. I tell my patients to follow the two-minute rule for how long you should brush your teeth and gums. To pass the time and make the activity fun for kids, watch a fun video or listen to their favorite song.

4...and Two-a-Days

In addition to the two-minute rule, I always recommend brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. If you and your kids have breakfast in the morning, it is best to brush shortly after eating. In the evening, it is important to always brush your teeth before going to bed because “sugar-bugs,” or cavity-causing bacteria that live in our mouths, can cause a lot of damage while we sleep. You can also brush throughout the day but as a guide, make sure you and your family brush at least twice a day!

5. A Waiting Game

Lastly, people know that they need to take care of their teeth and gums, but the “how” and “why” of good oral care can often be a mystery. For example, it is good to wait on brushing after eating because your mouth has a higher acidity level, and it can be even higher when you eat more of the “bad” candy. Plus, making a habit of brushing while teeth are more acidic can wear down and dissolve enamel quickly. So, before you run to the sink, wait 30 minutes after eating and swish with a mouthful of water to reduce the acid buildup and help minimize damage.

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