Halloween is around the corner again and the stores are bursting with delicious, sugary displays. Dr. Robert Harrell and the dedicated team at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne in Charlotte hope you will responsibly enjoy your treats this year. Don’t forget to pick up some extra expanding dental floss, mouthwash and even a new toothbrush if it’s been a while since you replaced your old one. You definitely don’t want to be out of these vital supplies.

If you’ve had your fill of candy and are looking for some healthier alternatives, consider these options:

  • Check the Fruit and Veggie Aisles

    The days are gone when a fresh, crispy apple made a good trick-or-treat treasure. Fears of poison and razor blades mean most parents put apples right in the trash. However, the boom in healthy school lunches means many grocery stores sell fruit and vegetables in individually wrapped snack packs. Check your produce aisle for treat-sized bags of baby carrots and apple slices. These crunchy treats encourage dental health and will be a novelty in a bag of syrupy sweet candies.

  • Dairy is Divine

    The dairy aisle is another excellent source of healthy Halloween treats that go easy on the teeth. Individual tubes of yogurt provide a burst of flavor and plenty of important nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. Cheese sticks will ease your conscious and fortify hungry ghosts and goblins as they haul their bags of candy around the neighborhood. Some companies even sell drink boxes full of organic chocolate milk that does not need a refrigerator. Talk about an excellent way to quench a young vampire’s thirst!

  • Xylitol Works Like Magic

    Xylitol candy is a great way to promote dental health without offending the sensibilities of neighboring fairies and princesses. According to the US Department of Heath and Human Services, xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener, helps to prevent cavities. Today, several companies sell xylitol chewing gum, sugar-free hard candies, lollipops and even caramels. These treats taste great but do not harm teeth, so you do not have to feel as though you are casting a cavity curse when you pass them out. Check out more healthier Halloween options from Colgate


Happy National Dental Hygiene Month

Is it a mere coincidence that Halloween happens to be the same month as National Dental Hygiene Month? We certainly don’t think so! A lot of crazy things can happen in your mouth in a short period of time if you fall into the habit of snacking on sugar and then curling up into bed without brushing, flossing or swishing first! Discover more about National Dental Hygiene Month below:

  • October is National Dental Hygiene Month, an effort to celebrate the work dental hygienists do and to help raise awareness on the importance of good oral health.
  • This year, the awareness month is focusing on four routines that can help people maintain healthy smiles: brush, floss, rinse and chew. According to MouthHealthy.org, the ADA’s consumer website, the ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of the brush should fit the mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.
  • The proper brushing technique is to:

    1. Place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gums.
    2. Gently move the brush back and forth in short (tooth-wide) strokes.
    3. Brush the outer surfaces, the inner surfaces and the chewing surfaces of the teeth.
    4. To clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several up-and-down strokes.
    5. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
  • Although recent news reports have questioned its benefits of cleaning between your teeth, it is still an essential part of taking care of your teeth and gums, according to MouthHealthy.org. The ADA recommends cleaning between your teeth once a day to remove plaque that is not removed by brushing. Plaque can eventually harden into calculus or tartar.
  • Because teeth alone account for less than half of the mouth, rinsing can help eliminate biofilm and bacteria that brushing and flossing cannot. Rinsing often, along with brushing and flossing, may help reduce the chance of dental decay and infection. However, avoid rinses that have alcohol in them, according to MouthHealthy.org.
  • Lastly, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth, according to MouthHealthy.org. Discover more from Colgate


Healthiest Ways To Enjoy Your Halloween Treats

Let’s face it…the days are much shorter, the weather is cooler and well, we are kind of programmed to hibernate. It can be easy to fall off the dental hygiene wagon with all of those tiny candy bars and bite size bits taking over your countertops. However, there are a few things you can do to set yourself up for success this Halloween. Keep the following tips below:

  • Eat treats (only) with a meal. Be a role model by sitting with your kids, distraction-free, and enjoying a treat after a meal. Mention what you like about the treat you chose. Bonus points: Mention what you like about your main course too!
  • Use a small bag and ditch non-favourites. One solution to avoid waste is to use smaller trick-or-treat bags to start. Another solution: a mid-November visit from the “Switch Witch” who trades remaining candy for something like a small toy or passes to an indoor waterslide park!
  • Set a treat time. To resist constant snacking, it is best to limit snacking to particular times. Frequent snackers are at a greater risk of tooth decay as the mouth has constant acidic conditions that wear away at tooth enamel leading to cavities. The CDA-ADC has more information to keep Halloween fun and the sugar manageable.

If you are unhappy with your smile for any reason, schedule a free, no obligation smile consultation with Dr. Robert Harrell at Adult Dentistry of Ballantyne. Call 704-541-9888 or use the contact form on the website to set your appointment. Dr. Harrell will explain your cosmetic dentistry options and help you decide which best suits your needs.