Halloween: six ways to minimise the damage

halloween candy

Dentists have advised on how Australian kids can have their candy and look after their teeth too

Love it or hate it, Halloween is becoming increasingly popular with Australians… and Australian dentists are concerned about its effect on teeth down under.

The Australian Dental Assocation says it wants to reassure parents and children that as long as all year-round good dental hygiene habits are kept up, a night of trick or treating is unlikely to result in dental decay. 

However, there’s a few ways to minimise sugar-related acid attacks on teeth, whether on the scariest night of the year, or any other day.

Professor David Manton, Chairman of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee, said, “The best form of protection for your teeth is good dental hygiene habits throughout the year.

“So long as you and your children are brushing twice a day (including flossing before bed), and have a balanced diet made up of fresh foods such as vegetables, cheese and lean meats, there’s no harm in having the occasional trick or treat when it comes to your dental health.

“Halloween is no exception.”

  • Avoid ‘grazing’ or snacking on sugary treats and sipping soft drinks over a long period of time.
  • Eat lollies after dinner to neutralise sugary acids.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after eating anything sugary.
  • Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva, which can neutralize the acid attacks.
  • Check the nutritional information of snacks that are marketed as ‘healthy’ – many foods contain high levels of sugar. Examples of these include dried fruit, biscuits (sweet and savoury), fruit juice, muesli bars, crackers, cereals, flavoured milk, sweetened yoghurt, fruit bars, fruit slice, flavoured popcorn, canned fruit, baked goods and banana bread.
  • Provide children with alternatives such as inexpensive toys and trinkets – there are many other ways to have fun on Halloween instead of sweets. Use Halloween this year as an opportunity to be creative.

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