Tips to reduce tooth damage at Halloween

JO-ANNE MACKENZIE/Staff photoThe state dental society has some tips to protect teeth during the candy-heavy season ahead.

CONCORD — Halloween is coming and that means an abundance of candy, tempting to both children and adults. The New Hampshire Dental Society recognizes the oral health concerns many parents have and how difficult it can be to eliminate candy altogether.

The good news is monitoring a child’s candy intake and limiting overindulgence can go a long way. Here are some tips from New Hampshire Dental Society to help parents keep their children’s teeth healthy during Halloween.

Eat candy with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production during meals will help cancel out acids produced by bacteria and help rinse away food particles.

Avoid hard candies and sticky, chewy candies. Hard candies tend to stay in the mouth for a long time, increasing exposure to bacteria. Stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, are harder to wash away from the teeth.

Avoid sugary beverages and drink water instead. Just like candy, sugary beverages expose the teeth to bacteria. Drinking water can help prevent tooth decay.

Chew sugarless gum to cut down sugar intake. Ingredients like Xylitol and Sorbitol, low calorie sweeteners found in some gum, can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on these products.

Brush and floss daily. The ADA recommends brushing for two minutes, twice a day and using floss to remove plaque and food particles between the teeth.

Visit a New Hampshire Dental Society member dentist for regular checkups. To find a dentist, visit

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