Tuesday was Halloween, a holiday that is becoming increasingly popular with Australians—not least because it is celebrated by eating lots of sweets.
It is why the Australian Dental Association has sought this year to reassure parents and children that so 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.
“The best form of protection for your teeth is good dental hygiene habits throughout the year,” chairman of the ADA’s Oral Health Committee Professor David Manton said.
“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.”
Regardless of whether it is Halloween or any other day, the ADA has provided the following tips that can also help minimise sugar-related acid attacks on teeth:
- Avoid ‘grazing’ or snacking on sugary treats and sipping soft drinks over a long period.
- Eat lollies with dinner to neutralise sugary acids.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating anything sugary.
- Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva, which can neutralise the acid attacks.
- Check the nutritional information of snacks that are marketed as ‘healthy’—many foods contain high levels of sugar.
- Provide children with alternatives such as inexpensive toys and trinkets. There are many other ways to have fun on Halloween instead of indulging in sweets. Use Halloween this year as an opportunity to be creative.
Based on a media release sourced from the ADA website.