Happy Halloween from Bishopsgate Dental Care!

Happy Halloween from Bishopsgate Dental Care!

Written by our hygienist, Emma

Halloween is an ever growing celebration in the UK, despite the turn in the weather. Whilst children have always been keen to trick or treat, there are increasing numbers of adults who celebrate with a themed night out. Although if you are over the age of 16 and are still partial to some spooky sweet treats, we won’t judge, we just have some guidance and advice to minimise the sugary effects to your teeth. 

Tooth decay isn’t necessarily about how much sugar you have but emphasis should be placed on the timings of when you consume sweet things. When you have something sugary to eat, your mouth produces acid. If you snack or eat sugary foods frequently, then the amount of times in a day that your mouth produces this acid is increased. After you have something sugary to eat, your mouth takes around 30 minutes to ‘recover’ and for this acidic environment to be neutralised and for your mouth to be ‘safe’ again. 

In ghost terms, if you manage to trick or treat 10 houses in 10 minutes and eat all your sweets at the end of the tenth house, this will be one hit of sugar and thus one acid attack. However, if the houses are spread out and it takes you an hour to do the same 10 houses and you need some chocolate snacks between each house you would have 10 ‘sugar hits’ or acid attacks to the teeth. 

Don’t worry- your teeth won’t fall out overnight from one night a year, provided you maintain more balanced habits year round. 

If you are leading the trick or treating…

  • Opt for chocolate rather than sweets. Sticky sweets have a tendency to sit in the grooves of teeth, whereas chocolate can wash out better with your saliva
  • You can choose a dark chocolate, for the least amount of added sugar and antioxidants.
  • Avoid lollipops. Lollipops are a dentist’s worst nightmare. If it takes 20 minutes for your child to eat a lolly, then it means that their mouth is in an acidic state for the best part of an hour.
  • If your child is old enough, getting them to chew a sugar free chewing gum can help stimulate salivary glands to help protect teeth against decay.
  • Place more emphasis on the dressing up part of the evening! 
  • Organise a bobbing apples game- or we challenge you to some pumpkin teeth carving!

As your dentist (don’t worry we’re not as scary as this!) we’d recommend you eat all your sweet treats in one go, and book in with us afterwards so we can assess the damage! 

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