Dental Tricks to Keep Teeth Safe from Halloween Treats

Published on 29 October 2020 00:00

October 29, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – As young ghouls and goblins enjoy the sweet goodies that go along with Halloween, the Marion County Public Health Department in partnership with the Indianapolis District Dental Society offerssome dental tricks to keep teeth safe from sugary treats. 

 •Enjoy, in moderation, treats like dark chocolate. It is easily cleaned from teeth and has the least amount of sugar compared to other chocolate treats. Natural fruits, like apples and oranges, arealso good; but beware, they do contain an acid of their own, adding to the attack acid left behind by the bacteria. 

 •Enjoy sugar free candy and American Dental Association-approved sugarless gum. These stimulate saliva, which helps clean sugar and acid from your mouth and teeth. 

 •Avoid or limit eating sticky candy, like taffy and gummy bears. As dentists like to say, “Be picky if it’s sticky.” These treats are harder to clean from teeth, giving the bacteria and acid a betteropportunity to cause cavities. 

 •Avoid or limit popcorn balls. If you must indulge in this tasty treat, be sure to floss immediately afterwards to remove stray kernels and hulls from between your teeth and gums. These can also befull of sugar and sticky. 

 •Avoid hard and sour candies. When biting into hard candy, there’s a risk of fracturing your teeth. Plus, these tend to be kept in the mouth longer than other candy, causing bacteria to stick aroundand leaving more acid to attack and cause cavities. Sour candies also tend to have lots of acid, which is harmful to teeth. 

 •Avoid snacking on treats. Try them as dessert with regular meals, when saliva flow is highest and to decrease the time sugar is available for bacteria during the day. 

 “To help prevent tooth decay, brush and floss at least twice a day and visit your dentist at least twice a year,” said Karen Ellis, D.D.S., president of the Indianapolis District Dental Society. 

“Drink lots of water, especially after eating and drinking sweet and acidic foods and drinks.” 

 “Wait to brush at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating and drinking,” added Tonya Stewart, D.D.S., director of the health department’s Dental Services Program. “This prevents more harm from your toothbrushscrubbing the acid into the surfaces of your teeth.” 

 Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department, advises, “In addition to dental care, remember to be safe trick-or-treating and follow COVID-19 precautionsduring Halloween activities.” Dr. Caine added, “This includes wearing a proper face covering under Halloween costumes, unless a person has a physical, medical, or other health exception. Children age 2 and under should not wear a mask, but everyone shouldpractice social distancing and only receive treats from trusted individuals or organizations.” 

 For more information on dental health, please visit or call the Marion County Public Health Department Dental Services Program at 317-221-2329.


Curt Brantingham
317-221-2316 │ 317-525-7450