This Halloween, Be On the Lookout for These Scary Treats
It seems hard to imagine, but Halloween is only a few weeks away. This is the time for costumes, scary movies, pumpkin carving, and of course, all the treats. With all these treats, you have to believe that dentists around the world are bracing themselves for the subsequent cavities and periodontal problems to come.
Your Alexandria dentist of choice, Dr. Mazhari, knows how important it is to protect your teeth and gums. Our dental clinic keeps all of our patients and their wellbeing as top priority, however, we know that this festive holiday only comes once a year. We think everyone should get a chance to enjoy all that the season has to offer, and know that celebrating can be done in a way that keeps both you and your teeth happy. Take a look at some of the foods to be wary of this Halloween, and contact Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio today to schedule your next dental visit!
Foods to Avoid
Who doesn’t love a great caramel apple or an orange-and-black brownie? Your teeth don’t, unfortunately. There are some festive treats that are worse than others, and having an idea of which ones are worse for your dental health can help you make an informed decision. They say ignorance is bliss, but if that’s the route you take, you might end up with Mounds of dental issues and a dental bill that could cost you a Payday.
Take a look at some of the most important foods to be on the lookout for this coming holiday season:
Hard Candies and Lollipops
These candies might seem like they’re not all that bad, but they can be somewhat of a silent killer towards your dental health. When you eat something sugary like a cookie, it’s finished in a few bites, meaning the exposure to sugar is relatively limited. If you’re especially looking out for your teeth and gums, you’ll drink some water or brush your teeth to wash away that sugar, and prevent plaque buildup.
In the case of hard candies and lollipops, you’re essentially exposing your teeth to sugar on a constant basis. The fact that a whole campaign revolved around “How many licks” to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop provides pretty ample evidence that these candies take a long time to finish. As such, you’re just filling your mouth with sugar that slowly causes a lot of wear to your tooth enamel.
And in case you were wondering, the answer is an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop—a team of engineers in Purdue came to this conclusion with a machine that simulated a human mouth!
We know, apple cider is way too good to make this list. And it’s made from apples, so it’s got to be better than certain foods, right? Sadly, there’s a reason it tastes so good, and it has very little to do with the apples themselves. Nutrition Data reports that one cup of apple cider has 30 grams of sugar in it—considering women should not have more than 25 grams of sugar a day and men shouldn’t exceed 37.5 grams, this is about a day’s worth of sugar crammed into one glass of juice.
Apple cider and other juices are comprised mostly of added sugar, which tend to wreak havoc on your body. Added sugars are especially hard on your teeth, and when consuming something like juice, it’s easy for those sugars and substances to latch onto your pearly whites.
Granted, apple cider is a once-a-year kind of thing, so it’s totally understandable to want to enjoy some. And you should absolutely enjoy what the season has to offer! Just keep moderation at the forefront of everything. Savor a glass of apple cider, and then stick with an actual apple for a healthier and seasonal alternative.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes
Yep, you guessed it—another beverage that tastes spectacular on its own, yet even more so around Halloween. The combination of espresso, steamed milk, and pumpkin spice makes this heavenly drink the order of many fall-lovers and Starbucks-goers alike. Whereas fall brings screams of joy at the thought of the highly acclaimed PSL hitting the market again, it brings screams of terror to your teeth, and for good reason.
A small pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks has 82 grams of sugar—and that’s the skinny (skim milk) version. For the same reasons as apple cider, this again should be enjoyed in moderation. Or if that jaw-dropping 82 number has got you turned away from the PSL, cold turkey, there are some delicious alternatives to try. Get pumpkin roasted coffee beans to get hints of that pumpkin drink you love, make some pumpkin bread, enjoy some pumpkin soup, or practically anything else involving pumpkin. Even if some of those things have sugar, they’ll have nothing in comparison to the outlandishly high amounts that a PSL can contain. Your teeth and your dentist will thank you.
Sticky Foods and Candies
If your sweet tooth has a particular penchant for gummy worms or Swedish Fish, it might end up not being so sweet. As Mouth Healthy reports, “Sticky foods can damage your teeth since they tend to stay on the teeth longer than other types of food.” However, the reason we include “foods” and not just candies is because there are certain things that are considered healthy, but actually pose a similar threat.
Dried fruits are super tasty, and seem like a great snack, but they’re still full of sugar, and the stickiness puts more strain on your tooth enamel. Your dentist will be the first to tell you that preventing plaque buildup is one of the biggest things you can do to protect the integrity of your teeth, as well as help health overall.
Wait, potato chips have practically no sugar in them! How can they possibly be bad? The aforementioned article from Mouth Healthy explains that potato chips (and potatoes in general) are full of starch, which is a substance that easily gets trapped in your teeth. If we consume chips and leave it at that, the buildup between our teeth and along our gums will eventually continue to grow. This means potential cavities at the very least, and eventual tooth decay and extraction at the most. Either way, it means a trip to the dentist is in order.
If you’re at a friend’s Halloween party or your Alexandria office is celebrating Halloween with snacks and that iconic bowl of chips, it’s still ok to indulge (in moderation, of course). Just make a point to floss later to take care of the damage. After the holiday, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our dentist to ensure your dental health is on the right track—call our dental clinic!
In our next blog we’ll take a further look into how we can protect our teeth during any and all Halloween festivities. But in the meantime, having this information is an excellent start towards preserving your dental health. Our Alexandria dentist Dr. Mazhari is here to help you stay healthy, not just during the holidays, but all year long. Book your next visit with Alexandria Dental Health & Smile Studio!