Toil and Bubble, Banish Tooth Trouble!
Autumn and Halloween Tooth Care Tips
It’s that time of year when the world falls in love…with candy, cider and pumpkins! Those months prior to the Ohio deep freeze really are something special—the leaves change, the air gets cooler, you leave behind teeth in your candied apple……it can (has) happened.
Yes we at Hudec Dental love fall also, but we don’t love the autumn hazards to your pearly whites! Before you dive headfirst into a bag of candy or take one more sip of your pumpkin spice latte, make sure you review our Halloween hazards…and how to keep your teeth safe ‘till spring!
If you have a child, know a child, were once a child, or are still a child at heart, you know the joy of cracking into your trick-or-treat haul—but at the risk of cracking a tooth while you’re at it. While parents are always advised to keep a close eye on their child’s candy stash for anything suspicious, what often passes under the radar is hard candy. Jawbreakers, lollypops, candied apples, even popcorn balls can be a danger to your child’s teeth. It’s a good idea to, at the very least, be cautious when your child digs into solid, crunchy and super sticky candies.
Another popular troublesome fall food that many folks don’t consider is baked pumpkin seeds—these salty DIY treats are fun to make and super delicious, but can become problematic fairly quickly. The seed is encased in a shell, which is safe to eat, but can sliver and become stuck between teeth. A rare occurrence you say? We can promise through the painful art of experience…it’s not as rare as you’d think.
This is why, even while giddy on chocolate and exhausted from seeing your three-hundredth Pennywise costume, it’s important to take the time to brush and floss. With all the sugars from candy and cider, as well as the acids in your coffees and alcohols, taking proper care of your teeth is absolutely vital even in the midst of Halloween haunting.
Remember, for kids and grown-ups, brushing and flossing is essential for removing popcorn kernels and pumpkin seed shells! Also, really work at sticking to the two-by-two rule—that’s brushing for two minutes twice a day—but be sure to give your teeth a quick brushing (with a portable toothbrush if you’re on the go) or a rinse (fluoride mouthwash if possible, but even water will help…if only a little) after coffee, cider and candy. Also, floss at least once a day to keep everything else at bay.
If you have children, be sure they care for their teeth too! Buying a special spooky toothbrush (or making one yourself with cheap stickers and other decorations) can entice your kids to happily scrub away! One parent purchased an ADA-certified toothbrush, decorated it to match their child’s costume and made a ritual of brushing her teeth with Superman every day! Do what it takes to encourage good brushing habits.
Remember Basic Brushing Rules:
–Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to the gums
–Brush in short strokes
–Get every surface of the tooth: inside, outside, chewing side
–Remember the backs of your front teeth! They’re often forgotten
Don’t forget to come see us regularly at Hudec Dental! We’d be happy to help you recover with a checkup and a cleaning!
BONUS: Recipe for “Tooth-Friendly” Candied and Caramel Apples
Chomping into a candied or caramel apple is a problem on two fronts—for one, you’ve got to bite down very hard to cut through the candy layer, putting tons of pressure on your front teeth…secondly, the coatings are often sticky and covered in peanuts, chocolate chips and other hard candies that can spell doom.
Frankly, you might as well be biting into a spoonful of rocks.
So instead of launching a sticky and sweet assault on your beautiful teeth, try something new…
…coring and cutting your apples into eight wedges first, sticking them on a cake pop stick, then dip and coat! (We like caramel and chocolate as much as the next person, so we’re trying to help here)
Apple wedges are easier to eat and don’t require nearly as much effort to bite into, and the smaller portions mean you’re getting less of the deliciously dangerous coatings. Another idea? Try dipping grapes stuck onto toothpicks for a fresh, trendy, new fall favorite!