It turns out the scariest part of Halloween may not be the ghosts and goblins, but microscopic bacteria that causes cavities—not to mention the dental health habits of the U.S. population.
Halloween is fun for families, but certain types of candy combined with poor dental care habits can really be frightening. It’s always good to think about oral health, but Halloween is an especially important time since so many Americans will indulge in sweet treats.
For example, we looked at data for more than ten million dental plan enrollees and found that:
- More than 1 in 3 failed to see a dentist in 2013
- Nearly 25% hadn’t seen a dentist or taken advantage of covered preventive services in 2 years
- Nearly 20% had a cavity filled in 2013
The post-Halloween season is the perfect time to receive a checkup as indulging in sugary foods metabolizes sugar and produces acids that quickly eat away at tooth enamel if not removed.
To reduce the risk, we suggest that people:
- Enjoy sugary foods in moderation
- Avoid sticky candies like taffy or treats as well as hard candies that stay in the mouth a long time—instead, choose candies that quickly dissolve and can be eaten easily like chocolate
- Brush after eating and see a dentist yearly for an examination and dental cleaning