As we enter the month of October, it is easy for our sweet teeth to get the best of us as we start to see pumpkins, costumes, and aisles upon aisles of candy fill the stores.
But as dental professionals, we are also aware that October is more than just a month dedicated to Halloween — it’s also ironically National Dental Hygiene Month. So, what does that mean for Candy Palooza 2019?
No, you don’t have to turn off the lights and hide in fear all month long. Believe it or not, you can still enjoy Halloween with these tips to promote good oral health even during the sweetest time of year.
It’s okay to be “that house.”
Having grown up in a super dorky dental family, we were the house that gave out toothbrushes along with the traditional candy, pencils, and spider rings. I’ve found out over the years that kids are usually even more stoked than the parents when they realize a toothbrush found its way into their bag. Everyone can always use a new toothbrush — and it’s also a helpful reminder to brush after devouring their stash of sweets.
Don’t forget the floss.
For bonus points, throw in some fun and colorful kid-friendly flossers that are good to have on hand when things get sticky. plus who says you must wait until the end to floss? Flossing as needed is not only great for deterring cavities, but also teaches excellent habits. Make it fun AND easy on the wallet with these flossers from the Dollar Tree.
Sour candy means more than just the physical repercussion of making your face pucker — it also means the candy is acidic. Acid causes tooth sensitivity and erosion, so rinsing with water can help lessen the damaging effects. It’s good to wait at least 30 minutes after rinsing to brush; otherwise, you are basically scrubbing your teeth with the acid.
When in doubt, wine about it.
Don’t worry, kids aren’t the only ones who can celebrate Halloween. For the bloodthirsty adults, red wine is reported to help ward off dental diseases. Recent research shows red wine has a moderate antimicrobial impact on periodontal pathogens. So go ahead and cheers to oral health (you just might want to think about using a straw to avoid staining those pearly whites).
This year, the American Dental Hygiene Association has partnered with Walgreens and Listerine for a national campaign to promote good oral health and the amazing work of dental hygienists. Simply hit up your participating Walgreens and take a selfie with the ADHA logo found on the Listerine display. Share your pic on social media or via email with #DoTheSwish, and you’ll even be entered for a chance to win up to $1000.