Halloween is just around the corner and with jack-o-lanterns appearing in store windows it’s hard not to imagine all of the delicious candy that will soon be flooding the streets. Even though your years of trick-or-treating may be behind you, there will still be plenty of tempting sweets available at the office, supermarket, and house parties.

While it’s okay to indulge in sugary treats from time to time, the Halloween season can make it easy to go a little overboard which can result in expensive dental problems later down the road. Protect your teeth and your savings by following these 5 tips this Halloween.

1.) Choose Candy Carefully

Not all candy is created equal. If you can’t resist a piece or two of candy this Halloween season, that’s okay. Just make sure you aren’t picking the worst candy for your teeth when you give in to your sweet tooth. As a general rule, be picky if the candy is sticky. That means stay clear of toffees, caramels, and taffy. These sticky candies are very difficult to remove from teeth and the longer they stay the more time the cavity-causing bacteria has to eat away at your teeth.

You should also keep an eye out for hard candies, such as jawbreakers and lollipops. If you’re not careful, these hard candies can actually break your teeth. To make matters worse, since hard candies take a longer time to consume, they often spend a longer time in our mouths. This allows sugar from the candy to mix with saliva and wash over unprotected teeth.

So what candy can you enjoy this Halloween? Chocolate is one of the top choices, which is great since chocolate is by far one of the most popular candies available. Dentists are more likely to offer you a piece of chocolate than a lollipop because chocolate washes off your teeth much easier that other types of candy. The next time you’re feeling the full force of a candy craving, grab some chocolate. Or, for some extra brownie points with your dentist, grab some dark chocolate instead. Studies have shown that dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate.

2.) Make Sure Your Brush Your Teeth

Don’t keep harmful sugar and bacteria on your teeth any longer than necessary. By brushing your teeth twice a day, you can remove any remaining sticky toffee, taffy, or caramel. It’s crucial that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes in the morning and again for the same amount of time in the evening. People who get cavities often do so because they only brush their teeth for a minute or less.

If you want extra protection from the Halloween treats hanging around the office, consider bringing a travel toothbrush set with you to work. This will let you squeeze in an extra brushing after your lunch, giving your teeth maximum protection throughout the day.

3.) Chew Some Sugarless Gum

Minimize the amount of time sugar stays on your teeth by popping in a piece of sugarless gum after you enjoy a few pieces of candy. Studies have shown that chewing gum can pull some of the bad bacteria off of your teeth. Plus, you get to enjoy the additional bonus of fresh breath. Sugarless gum also contains xylitol as a natural sweetener. Xylitol has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities which is a win-win for your teeth and your wallet.

4.) Don’t Forget To Floss

Candy apples, saltwater taffy, and caramel corn are all popular Halloween treats. Unfortunately, these enjoyable treats can wreck havoc on your teeth. Actively floss after eating these sweets to minimize their sticky impact. Floss is designed to easily remove tiny particles of food and will be an effective tool in keeping your teeth clean. If you take the time to floss at least two times a day during the Halloween season, you are sure to minimize your risk of getting cavities between your teeth.

5.) Visit Your Dentist

Once the fun of Halloween is over, it’s easy to forget all of the sugary sweets you consumed. However, even if you can’t remember everything you ate at last night’s Halloween party, your teeth are still under attack from sugars and bacteria. When it comes to having strong, healthy teeth that last a lifetime, preventative care is the best course of action to take. By scheduling an appointment within a week after Halloween, you are giving your dentist ample time to address any existing dental problems and to prevent new ones from starting. This can help reduce your overall number of dentist visits and minimize your dental expenses.

Don’t be caught off guard this Halloween. By having a healthy dental plan in place, you can enjoy the holiday festivities without letting your teeth pay the price. Remember to make smart eating choices and to maintain your oral hygiene habits. Continue to do this throughout October to ensure your teeth stay strong and healthy for the rest of the year’s holiday season.

If you’d like to ensure that your teeth are completely protected, schedule your next dentist appointment at Cosmetic Micro Dentistry. Our friendly and attentive staff is available for all of your dental care needs.