Halloween can only mean one thing: the inevitable abundance of sugary treats available and perhaps the odd Halloween vino - which can play havoc on your teeth and gums.
The additional sugar intake in snacks such as chocolate and lollies and alcoholic drinks (especially sugary cocktails and those with a soft drink mixer) can produce acids which can cause tooth decay.
But don't despair – before you throw out the sweets jar, check out these tips from Oral-B advisor and dentist Dr. Christopher Ho on how to get your teeth through the treat-filled spooky season:
One of the best ways to minimise the damage to the teeth caused by alcohol and sugary drinks is to use a straw. Research suggests that only 4% of young Australians always take this precaution.
If drinking alcohol at Halloween parties, minimise the amount of sugary drinks by opting for soda as a mixer rather than soft drink. Also, drink a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks as this will rinse away the acid that causes tooth erosion. As alcohol can also dehydrate your body, drinking water will help stop the mouth from getting dehydrated. When we are dehydrated there is less saliva to neutralise acids which can lead to tooth erosion.
If you're only a short walk or cab ride from home, be sure to allow at least 60 minutes between your last drink and brushing your teeth. Brushing your teeth too soon can damage the softened tooth enamel caused by acidity in drinks consumed during the evening
If you can, keep sticky sweets that cling to teeth to a minimum. Your mouth needs time for the saliva to neutralise the effects of sugary foods and help plaque prevention. So if you are going to eat sweet treats over the Halloween weekend try to avoid frequent snacking throughout the day – one acid attack is less damaging than frequent attacks.
In between the treats, mix in calcium-rich foods such as cheese or nuts. Not only are these healthier options but they have an added bonus of minimising the acidity in the mouth caused by sugar, reducing the chance of erosion and cavities!
To maintain a healthy smile all year round, doing the simple things like brushing and flossing is essential. Brushing for two minutes, twice a day with quality products will help strengthen their teeth and protect against cavities. Oral-B is the toothbrush brand most recommended by dentists worldwide.
Schedule regular visits to the dentist throughout the year - a regular check-up will help identify potential issues earlier and a professional clean will help remove built up plaque.