How to Protect Your Teeth From Halloween Candy, According to a Dentist

Dr. Apoena Ribeiro is a pediatric dentist and microbiologist on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s additionally a mum or dad.

When her daughter was little and rising up in Brazil, Dr. Ribeiro inspired her to take pleasure in a vacation known as the Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian, which includes kids accumulating giant baggage of sweet. But she additionally had some methods for protecting the dental risks at bay.

Here’s what she did again then, and nonetheless does at the moment, to defend her household’s oral health on a candy-laden vacation.

One sugar-filled evening received’t sabotage your oral health, Dr. Ribeiro mentioned — so when her daughter was younger, she allowed her to gather and revel in as a lot sweet as she needed on sweet-heavy holidays.

Once she’d had her fill, Dr. Ribeiro would ask her daughter to type her sweet into two piles: One for her favorites, which she known as her “treasures,” and one other for the rejects, which they’d donate.

The “treasures” can be stashed away in a cardboard “treasure box” that might solely be opened a few times a week (although as soon as per day can be OK, Dr. Ribeiro mentioned). When the field was open, her daughter might eat as a lot sweet as she needed. But as soon as she was finished eating and it was closed, she can be lower off from the sweet till the field was opened once more. Then it was time to brush her enamel.

These guidelines prevented Dr. Ribeiro’s daughter from grazing on sweet all through the day, which might give the cavity-causing micro organism in her mouth extra alternatives to feed on sugars and create an surroundings that might lead to tooth decay. “Free access to the candy is the main problem,” Dr. Ribeiro mentioned.

But if the micro organism can solely eat the sugar as soon as a day or as soon as each few days, “they will starve,” she mentioned.

The finest time to have sweet is with or simply after a meal, Dr. Ribeiro mentioned. At that time, the micro organism in your mouth could have already crammed up on any carbohydrates from the meal, so that they’re much less ready to benefit from the sugar within the sweet. And you produce extra saliva if you eat, which helps to rinse the sugar from the sweet off your enamel. It additionally neutralizes acids made by the micro organism that may put on away at your tooth enamel.

For most households, having sweet with dinner makes probably the most sense, since all members are doubtless to be at dwelling and may brush their enamel simply after, she mentioned.

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