Halloween 2017: Go for the Chocolate
Halloween is creeping up fast and kids of all ages are busy buying or designing costumes to scare everyone they see when they go trick or treating. The one thing that probably scares all of them more than make-believe ghosts and goblins is a trip to the dentist. All that candy that’s collected on Halloween night may taste great, but it can lead to cavities and there are few things scarier than the sound of a dentist’s drill when it’s in your mouth. When it comes to candy, the UNLV School of Dental Medicine has some advice that may calm some fears: eat chocolate. It’s better for your teeth than the other stuff.
Dr. Tina Brandon Abbatangelo tells The Now Report the best way to protect your teeth if, and of course when, you or your kids dig into all that Halloween candy is to eat chocolate and rinse your mouth with water right after. She says sticky and/or sour candy leaves a residue that’s a lot harder to get off your teeth and could lead to a cavity or two if you’re not careful. UNLV dental experts also suggest you eat your trick-or-treat bounty or any sweets directly after a meal instead of snacking on it throughout the day to keep your mouth’s pH level even, which is crucial to preventing cavities. They also remind us that brushing really matters. Parents should brush their children’s teeth until age 8 or 9, which is usually when kids develop the skills for brushing well. And even at that age, parents should supervise their children’s brushing habits. One other tip: Keep your dentist appointments during the holiday season. Postponing a dental check-up until next year may seem like a good idea, but the longer those cavities go undetected and untreated, the larger and more painful they become.