Fall and winter are synonymous with candy. There's Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Valentine's Day: all holidays that promote sweet treats and candy. Unfortunately, candy and sweet treats are bad for your smile. The good news is that you can survive the season and make it out without any cavities.
Here are four tips for surviving the holidays and candy cravings:
1. Opt for Dark Chocolate
If you enjoy chocolate, or your little one does, opt for the darker chocolate. While milk chocolate may be tastier, dark chocolate is much healthier for your teeth and body. In fact, dark chocolate has several health benefits and it's packed full of antioxidants. To ensure you are eating the good stuff, make sure it is labeled dark chocolate and contains a high amount of cocoa. You can also look at the label for its sugar content.
2. Eliminate Candy At Home
Sometimes it is just too hard to resist candy at home. If that's the case for you, or your family, consider eliminating from the household. If you have a lot of candy from Halloween, consider trading it in. Most dentists will trade candy for cash, gifts, or prizes. You can also donate the candy to charitable organizations or churches.
3. Don't Be Fooled by Sugar
Candy isn't the only thing that is packed full of sugar. Drinks, snacks, and other packaged foods can contain a high amount of refined sugar. They can also contain food colorings that can stain the teeth. If you want to ensure you keep your smile bright, white, and healthy, make sure you are looking for hidden sources of sugar. Avoid soda, juices, ciders, cakes, and baked goods. If you are in doubt, just skip it. You can always reward yourself later with a healthy, but tasty treat, such as peanut butter and bananas.
4. Rinse Afterwards
If you must have a sweet treat, make sure that you rinse your mouth immediately after you eat it. You do not need to use mouthwash or a special solution, plain old water will work fine. By rinsing after eating, you will limit the amount of time the sugar stays on the teeth. This will reduce plaque and bacteria, which will reduce cavities. So rinse often and don't forget to brush and floss as your normally would.
Although it is impossible to skip eating sweet treats during the holidays, you can make it a little healthier for you and your mouth by using these four tips. As always, make sure you visit a dentist (such as one from HC Dentistry) regularly and be sure to check-in after the holidays for a check-up.