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Trick or Treat?

Published: 25 October 2016

It’s almost Halloween time, which means the supermarkets are packed sky-high with sweets and chocolates for us to give to trick or treaters on 31st October. Of course, these sugar-filled snacks are our nemesis here at Clyde Munro, but we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to offer tooth-friendly tips and advice!

Acid attack

Firstly, it is important to understand the impact that a lot of sugar can have on teeth. When we eat, it causes an ‘acid attack’ to happen, which is when some of the bacteria in our mouths reacts to the sugars in the foods we consume; the higher the sugar content the worse the attack. This softens the tooth enamel and leaves the teeth in a weakened state until the saliva washes over, adds lost minerals back into the teeth, and hardens them up again. This process takes up to an hour so constant snacking on very sugary sweets doesn’t give the saliva a chance to work its magic and leaves the teeth weak and exposed for too long, leading to tooth decay or cavities.

Top dental tips for Halloween

For parents whose children come home with the inevitable stash of sweets and chocolates, we advise supervising when they consume these goodies. Choosing a couple of items after a meal is perfect and allows kids to enjoy the fruits of their labours as a treat without causing damage to the teeth. We also advise not brushing the teeth for at least an hour after eating, and that goes for any meal. You need to allow the saliva enough time to do its job and harden that enamel up, otherwise brushing the teeth can do more harm than good.

For those expecting lots of costumed kids knocking on the door over the Halloween weekend, why not try some alternative ‘treats’ to hand out, instead of sweets? For an easy option, you could change up the money you would have spent on sugary treats into 5, 10, and 20 pence pieces and hand out a few silver coins instead. Alternatively, kids love things like stickers, badges, pencils and erasers, and you should be able to find some seriously spooky ones around at the moment. Both of these ideas are budget-friendly treats that will be sure to save you from any ‘tricks’ and won’t harm those precious teeth.

If you’d like further advice on the problems that sugar can have on dental health, and some top tips on how to enjoy sweet treats without the repercussions, our dentists would be more than happy to help. Just find your nearest Clyde Munro practice using our practice finder (https://clydemunrodental.com/our-practices/) and call the friendly reception team to book an appointment.