Bright orange pumpkins, paper mache skeletons, and ghastly costumes: Halloween is just around the corner. While Dr. Craig Armstrong and our Houston dental team are always fans of festive fun, the sweets you tend to munch on during this holiday often aren’t exactly ideal for your smile. Having to get a filling after too many caramels or suffering a dental emergency from a particularly tough hard candy could put a real damper on your Halloween. Fortunately, you can enjoy your spooky celebrations and a healthy smile by making the right choices. In the following blog, we go over the top X Halloween treats that won’t ruin your teeth.
These fruits are a Halloween tradition, whether you’re bobbing for them in a giant barrel or coating them in caramel. When it comes to your dental health, the best way to enjoy them is simply sliced. Since they’re naturally sweet and tart, they need no additional sugar, and their crunchy fiber helps them naturally clean your smile.
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that tastes great and fights cavities, since it destroys decay-causing bacteria. As Colgate Oral Care Center points out, “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 Health and Human Services, xylitol…helps to prevent cavities. Today, several companies sell xylitol chewing gum, sugar-free hard candies, lollipops, and even caramels.” These treats allow you to enjoy Halloween delicacies without the usual damage.
Pumpkins are a Halloween staple, and their seeds provide a savory, crunchy alternative to the typical sticky, sweet treats. Colgate Oral Care Center explains: “after you’ve had fun carving jack-o-lanterns, be sure to save the seeds for a simple healthy treat. Wash the seeds, then toss them with some olive oil and salt or other seasoning of your choice. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.” Passing out pumpkin seeds to trick-or-treaters can set you apart from the crowd and help keep their smiles healthy.
Packed full of calcium, dairy can be an excellent choice for your oral health. This Halloween, you might consider individually-packaged yogurt snacks, which are tasty and tooth healthy!
Sometimes, the fun of festive food is in its presentation. Everyday Health describes a “veggie skeleton” as “the perfect way to get your kids excited about eating their veggies—no bones about it!” All you’ll need to do is cut up some celery, carrots, bell peppers, or any other produce of your choice, then lay it out in the shape of a spooky skeleton, complete with some savory dip.
For another cute, healthy Halloween snack, we recommend Everyday Health’s “witches’ broomsticks,” which consist of “reduced-fat mozzarella cheese sticks, pretzel sticks,” and “chives” put together in the shape of broomsticks. These are adorable and include calcium-rich dairy.
Of course, choosing better treats is just one part of having a healthy Halloween. We also recommend that you drink plenty of water, try to avoid snacking throughout the holiday, and make a preventive care appointment with Dr. Armstrong. During this visit, we will examine and clean your teeth, as well as providing additional suggestions to safeguard your smile.
Dr. Armstrong and our team would be delighted to help you keep your mouth healthy this Halloween. Contact our Houston dental practice today to learn more and schedule an appointment!