Treat Your Teeth Well At Halloween

October 24, 2005 — Ottawa — Halloween without candy would be like Christmas without Santa — but how to avoid a mouthful of cavities come December? By following some simple advice offered by the Canadian Dental Association (CDA).

Eat sweets following a meal. The saliva in your mouth is flowing and will carry away harmful sugars more easily. It's especially important to avoid the temptation of all day snacking.

Always brush before bed. It's a great idea to brush after each meal, but even dentists realize that this is not always possible. Be sure to brush thoroughly before going to bed, however. If you don't — bacteria have all night to wreak havoc on your smile.

Set a candy expiry date. When your children arrive home with their haul — get them to choose their favourite items for early consumption. Let them know that whatever remains after a reasonable period of time (perhaps a week), has officially "expired" and must be discarded.

While many parents are concerned about the impact of Halloween candy on teeth — the real focus should be on the amount of sweets children eat throughout the year. A new poll on CDA's Web site asks visitors to vote on what bothers them most about kids' access to junk foods.

"CDA is very supportive of interventions to remove junk foods from schools", said CDA president, Dr. Jack Cottrell. "Strategies to reduce cavities go hand in hand with obesity reduction. We all want the best for our kids' oral and general health."

Vote in the poll and find more information about Halloween and general oral health tips for you and your children on this Web site.