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Q. Can the dentist whiten my teeth?

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Happy Halloween! No, Really, We Mean It.

Oral Health Tips From Thousand Oaks Dentists Drs. Joseph & Janice Beierle

Woo hoo, it’s Halloween! Okay, as dentists, we admit it: Halloween is frightening! The sugar in all those goodies can really play some tricks on your teeth.

Thousand Oaks dentist: Halloween Tips

The reason is simple. Bacteria has a feast on the leftover sugar in your mouth, which produces a weak type of acid. That’s the same acid that can contribute to cavities.

Rather than fight it, however, we instead offer some tips for having your candy and eating it, too. The trick begins long before October 31. If you’ve been brushing twice a day and flossing all year long, one day of splurging on candy is not going to be a problem. So, here’s the lowdown on some popular types of treats.

Chocolate

Parents, if you’re going to load up the candy jar with goodies, you can’t do any better than chocolate. Surprised? Don’t be. Chocolate washes off the teeth more easily than other types of candy. And while you’re at it, go for dark chocolate – it has less sugar than milk chocolate.

Hard Candy

Ahhh! Just saying the word is scary! You can actually break a tooth on hard candy. And guess what – you also tend to keep hard candy in your mouth longer which, as you might imagine, gives that sugar more time to marinate your teeth. Avoid it!

Popcorn Balls

Here’s an old-time favorite. A little good bad, a little bad. Kernels can get stuck in your teeth, but that’s usually so annoying kids generally want to take care of the problem quickly. And there’s no getting away from it – they’re loaded with sugar. Enjoy – then floss.

Sour Candy

There are a couple of problems with sour candy. It can be sticky, so it’s a little tougher to wash off the teeth. More important, it can be very acidic. And you remember the problem with acid – it can weaken and damage your teeth, making them more vulnerable to cavities.

Gummy Bears (and other gummy animals)

Okay, we’ve saved the worst for last. That gumminess usually means it sticks to your teeth longer. That gives the green light to bacteria and buys it the time to do its nasty work.

So, aside from good habits all year long, how else can you maintain good oral health over Halloween.

Try these tips: