Vampires and jack-o-lanterns and ghosts…oh my! Halloween is upon us and that means candy and costumes. While it’s always a good time to think about your dental health, Halloween is also a good time for dental trivia! Why? Because we love these scary and fun facts more than all those sweet treats that get stuck in your teeth and cause cavities. We decided to ask around the office for everyone’s favorite dental trivia to see if we can trick you this Halloween!
What is the hardest substance in the human body?
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Wow!
How much of your life is devoted to brushing your teeth?
The average American spends 38.5 days brushing their teeth over the course of their lifetime. Compare that to an average of 9,125 days spent sleeping and 188 days in the shower.
What’s the scariest Halloween candy?
Sour candy–it has the same pH as battery acid. Yikes!
Do we really eat that much candy at Halloween?
Yes! A typical child’s bag of Halloween candy has 11,000 calories. Also, if you laid out all the candy corn that’s sold each year, it would wrap around the earth 4.25 times. That’s a lot of candy!
What does a vampire fear most?
Tooth decay! Ok, so that was a joke, but did you know that people get vampire teeth implants? Sorry, we do not offer this service at FDA.
Did we trick you? We hope you have fun this Halloween! Remember, to give your teeth a real treat this holiday and everyday by following these tips:
- Avoid hard and sticky candies that linger in your mouth. The longer sugar stays in your mouth, the more your teeth are at risk of tooth decay.
- Eat candy shortly after meals when your mouth is already producing saliva. This helps rinse out the sugars and bacteria.
- Brush & floss your teeth twice a day.
- Come in for regular check-ups! Call us at 207.781.5900.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Falmouth Dental Arts!
Image courtesy of: www.pinterest.com
1. Chewy Candies
Examples: Now & Laters, Mary Janes, Bit’O’Honeys
Chewy candies are number one on this list for a reason. Serious bite pressure is needed to break up chewy candies into manageable bites. That itself can damage your teeth. Once in your mouth, chewy candies adhere to the crevices between your teeth. The sugary stuff is likely to get stuck in between your teeth—right where you are most vulnerable to cavities. If you do choose a chewy treat, make sure to floss after.
2. Sour Sweets
Examples: Warheads, Sour Patch Kids, Sour Skittles
Q: How do they make that lip-puckering sensation?
A: With lots and lots of acid. Sour candies are highly acidic. Most also contain a substantial amount of sugar. This means a double whammy for your tooth enamel. The acid weakens enamel while abrasive sugar rubs it away, leading to tooth decay and possibly even tooth loss.
Examples: Dum-Dums, Tootsie Pops, Blow Pops
Lollipops aren’t significantly sweeter than other candies, but the way they are typically consumed lands them on this list. Lollipops take longer to eat than most candies. The longer sugar sits on your teeth the worse it is for your enamel.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that is widely celebrated, but celebrated in many different ways. One tradition that is of the more common is giving your valentine candy on February 14th. But why?
Chocolate candies as we know them today were created sometime in the late 1800’s. It was not long after their creation that they began to be marketed and created in heart shapes. What a thoughtful gift, right? Of course. Chocolate – especially shaped like a heart – is considered a valuable, divine, delicious, decadent, sophisticated gift. It’s the perfect gift.
Or at least it was in the 1800’s. Maybe it is now time that we start thinking outside the box (of chocolates) a little bit again to find some “sweet” ways to show our valentines just how much we care.
If you haven’t noticed…this is our helpless way of trying to keep our beloved patients away from the candy 😉
We know that this tradition is so deeply engrained within the holiday that it would take much more than a mere blog post to change that. And who are we kidding, it is sweet – literally and figuratively.
But don’t get carried away. Lay off the half priced candy on February 15th! This we are serious about 😉
We hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day filled with all of your favorite treats and most importantly, your favorite people.
At FDA we love this time of year. Celebrating with friends and family, festive decorations, cooking and eating traditional recipes, and of course, exchanging gifts.
Our gift to you is the something that we are certain you would never expect from us…CANDY! Yes, candy. But not just any candy…
Researchers are developing a new candy that is actually GOOD for your oral health!
Now, we understand that you are probably thinking one of three things:
- Healthy candy? Yea right…that is way too good to be true.
- Any healthy candy has got to taste absolutely disgusting.
- This is some sick Christmas joke.
However, we are not joking, this candy is in fact REAL and we are telling the TRUTH!! Simply put, an ingredient in the candy has proven to reduce levels of bad, cavity-causing bacteria in mouths. Also, sugar-free candy such as this one actually stimulates saliva production which is good for oral health.
Let’s explain this a little further…
Our mouths are comprised of a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. When we clean our teeth, the aim is to get rid of cavity-causing bacteria while allowing good bacteria to thrive.
Now, researchers have developed this sugar-free candy. The research team, led by Christine Lang, believes that this good bacteria in the candy binds with the harmful bacteria in the mouth and prevents it from reattaching to the teeth. Without the ability to latch onto teeth, saliva washes the bad bacteria away and potential for developing cavities declines. Seems to make sense, right?
Lang and her team used 60 subjects in their initial trial. Twenty subjects ate candy with 1mg of good bacteria, another twenty subjects ate candy with 2mg of good bacteria, and the remaining twenty subjects ate candy that tasted similar, but contained no good bacteria (the control group).
In total, each subject ate five candies during the course of the 1.5-day experiment. They were not allowed to perform any oral hygiene activities during this time, and they were also not allowed to consume coffee, tea, wine or probiotic foods.
Results showed that nearly 75% of the participants who ate candies with the good bacteria had “significantly lower” levels of bad bacteria in their saliva than before, compared with the control group. Additionally, the subjects who ate candy with 2 mg of good bacteria had a reduction in bad bacteria levels after eating only one piece of candy.
So, we are telling you the truth! Sugar-free candy that actually benefits your mouth and potentially reduces risk of cavities may not be far away.
Merry Christmas to all!!
We all know what it’s like to be a kid on Halloween. From the excitement of getting dressed up to the fun of touring the neighborhood for candy, Halloween is, for some, the event of the fall. We in the dental care industry often get the reputation of being the Scrooges of the Halloween season, but instead of telling you not to eat candy (we know you’ve heard it before) we wanted to provide you with a few ways to offset the issues that can come with eating candy:
The easiest way to avoid over-indulging on Halloween is to limit how much candy your kids eat. Whether you have them carry a smaller container or simply set a number of pieces allowed, moderation is vital to stopping cavities (and tummy-aches).
Have your children brush their teeth shortly after they finish eating their candy. The less time sugar has to get to work on their teeth, the better.
Going hand-in-hand with brushing after eating is, of course, is flossing. All those sweets will be squeezing its way in between teeth and getting in those spots that are difficult to brush, so flossing is essential in stopping sugar from settling in overnight.
4.) Eat before going out
Having dinner right before trick-or-treating can help cut down on snacking during the walk, which will allow you to keep better track of what your kids eat afterward.
5.) Avoid sticky, gooey candies
You know the kinds: Laffy Taffy, Starbursts, Skittles, etc. These types of candies are often loaded with sugar and are much harder to brush and floss away.
By following these easy tips, you can help your kids avoid cavities, tooth decay, and more. We hope you and your children to have a fun and safe Halloween!