Tips for Keeping a Healthy Smile This Halloween

October brings out the ghost and ghouls, wizards and witches, and a great deal of fun for the whole family. Even though it is a wonderful time of year to celebrate and indulge, the excess intake of sugar can also bring on dental issues and toothaches! It’s important to take a few extra steps to keep your family’s smiles bright, healthy and cavity-free during this holiday. We’ve put together the top tips and tricks to help:

1.    Control The Candy Haul
An easy way to lessen the sugar overload is to downsize your children’s trick-or-treat bags and limit the time in which they have to participate in collecting treats. This is probably the simplest way to reduce the overall volume of sugary treats. The activity of trick-or-treating can still be a great deal of fun if the emphasis is placed on decorating their container before they go out rather than how much candy they collect.

2.    Limit Access to Treats Through “Treat Time”
Another quick way to keep smiles healthy and cavity free is to limit all day grazing on candy. Instead, set a specific “treat time”, or allow a treat only with meals. This strategy can help to minimize all day candy consumption and binges. Mealtime is an easy time to remember and manage the intake of treats. Kids will look forward to the meal knowing they are able to have a treat with it. Even more beneficial, during meal consumption additional saliva is created to help clean the mouth. If you set a specific treat time outside of meals, have kids rinse their mouth with water to help further break down sticky sugars.

3.    Hone Your Candy Knowledge
Not all candy is created equal when it comes to your dental health. Candies that are chewy and sour have a tendency to stick to the teeth longer allowing sugars to cause more damage, while chocolates dissolve more quickly. The best bet is dark chocolate that has less overall sugar and does not stick to teeth as easily.

4.    Add Some Extras To Your Regular Routine
Maintaining your regular diet and oral care routine is important every day, but even more so during holidays. Keeping a regular healthy eating routine will help to limit the impact sugar takes on your smile. Just like your diet, keeping up all your regular oral care routines is critical. Also, this Halloween, whether it’s an extra brush, floss, or rinse (even with water) after you eat sweets you’ll be doing your mouth a world of good in preventing cavities.

5.    Get A Halloween Toothbrush
It may sound strange, but you can make oral care more fun during Halloween by having your kids pick out a new “Halloween Toothbrush”. Letting them pick out their favorite character and designating the brush for the Holiday will help kids look forward to practicing good oral hygiene during the holiday!

Halloween is a time for tricks, treats and family fun. Common sense and the tips above can help you keep the whole family’s smile healthy, while still enjoying a little indulgence in the holiday festivities. . Dr. Marc S. Wright and the team are always here to help you with any of your questions.

Eating with New Braces

Once your braces have been affixed to your teeth, you will probably discover that your choice of foods is now limited. Dr. Marc S. Wright, our Atlanta and Marietta orthodontist, would like each of our patients who wears braces to have a positive experience as their teeth are being treated.

Even though modern braces are sturdy, they must still be treated with care. This means you should stick to eating foods that are gentle on your brackets and wires holding your braces in place. You probably already know to avoid eating foods that are hard, crunchy, or sticky. Soft foods are usually fine to eat for those wearing braces since they are simply so much gentler on your oral hardware.

From the moment we put your braces on, we explain to you how important it is to avoid certain types of foods that can damage or even break your braces including sticky, tough, crunchy, and hard foods. You were also told you must alter your usual eating habits somewhat since the brackets cannot withstand the stress of biting. Your brackets could come away from your teeth and break if you bite into foods while wearing them. Should this occur regularly, you may need to wear your braces longer than normal, meaning you must wait even longer to finally see your new smile.

This may leave you wondering what you can actually eat. The good news is you can enjoy a variety of foods and snacks without worrying if you are damaging your braces. Sometimes, you can still enjoy the same foods as before, but with minor alterations. For example, you could still eat pizza if you cut it up into smaller pieces and chew only with your back teeth. Other examples of foods that can be eaten this way are soft tacos, hot dogs, hamburgers, and soft fruit.

Foods to Enjoy While Wearing Braces

  • Soft fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, nectarines, and kiwi
  • Vegetables that are steamed until soft
  • Tender meats such as turkey, meatballs, soft-cooked chicken, and lunch meats
  • Dairy products such as soft cheeses and yogurt
  • Seafood including salmon, tuna, crab cakes, and cod
  • Snacks such as applesauce, pudding, smoothies, bananas, jello, and ice cream
  • Grains including pasta and soft-cooked rice
  • Eggs and soup
  • Soft breads such as biscuits, muffins, pancakes, and soft tortillas

These are just a few examples of the many foods you can eat while wearing braces. Just keep in mind to avoid sticky, gooey, hard, or crunchy foods that may damage your braces. Remember to not bite down hard on something that may break your braces. If you feel a temptation to eat a food such as corn-on-the-cob, you can always remove the kernels before eating.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding what foods you can eat when wearing your braces, feel free to contact our Atlanta and Marietta offices for more information.