Smile, It's Green Halloween®

Sure, that blacked-out tooth looks great with the Halloween pirate costume, but we want to make sure that a great, healthy smile returns on November 1 and lasts for a lifetime. The principles of Green Halloween® make smart sense for oral health, and, as the state's resource for healthy mouths, the Washington Oral Health Foundation has some recommendations for a healthy Halloween celebration.

It is old news that candy can lead to tooth decay; however, we'd be the last to say that we shouldn't celebrate! Providing fun alternatives as treats can support a healthy lifestyle for our children and generations to come. It is important to remember that any kind of sugar, even healthy natural forms such as honey and dried fruit, can promote tooth decay. The length of time and frequency that sugar is in the mouth also matters. When indulging in sweet treats, do remember to brush and floss afterwards. If brushing is not immediately possible, rinse with water. Chewing sugar-free gum can help by increasing saliva flow and decreasing cavity formation. The natural non-sugar sweetener Xylitol is especially popular.

When brushing and flossing, the main goal is to reduce the bacteria levels in the mouth. Bacteria keep growing and multiplying in our mouths throughout the day. They use the sugar and simple carbohydrates that are found in our mouths to produce acid, which breaks down tooth enamel and leads to cavities. We can all reduce cavities by both cleaning out the bacteria and starving the ones that remain by not feeding them sugars. We fully support the Green Halloween recommendations for healthy celebrations. Here are a few ideas for treats and treasures to give out to those delightful trick-or-treaters:
  • Fun toothbrushes!
  • Coins - consider dressing as the tooth fairy for Halloween
  • Decorated pencils
  • Nuts
  • Polished stones
  • Oyster shells decorated like ghosts
The Washington Oral Health Foundation wishes you all the happiest Green Halloween®. And we will all celebrate together at your child's next healthy dental check-up!

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