1-800-DENTIST® Says It’s OK to Enjoy Halloween Candy

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1-800-DENTIST® Recommends Good Oral Hygiene and Sugar-Free Treats to Reduce Risk of Tooth Decay. Discover 5 Tricks for Avoiding Halloween Cavities.

Between now and New Year’s, Americans will consume millions of sweets. Being smart about how and what they eat will help them avoid starting 2011 with serious dental problems.

It's perfectly OK to enjoy Halloween candy according to 1-800-DENTIST®, the nation’s leading free dental referral service. The key is to do so responsibly. This is the main message behind a new list of recommendations the Los Angeles-based advocate for good oral health is making to help trick-or-treaters of all ages minimize their risk of tooth decay this Halloween.

1-800-DENTIST® believes most people can enjoy a healthy Halloween without giving up candy. Moderation, intelligent choices and good oral hygiene are essential to achieve this. Following are a few tricks to help keep Halloween cavities at bay:

1. Go sugar-free. The best Halloween sweets for teeth are xylitol sugar-free candies and chewing gums. Xylitol, a natural non-fermentable sugar alcohol, not only fights the bacteria related to gum disease it also helps dental enamel crystals to re-mineralize.

2. Avoid hard candy. Hard candy is risky. Bite into a piece the wrong way and you wind up with a cracked tooth or broken crown. Suck on a piece of hard candy too long and your teeth will be overexposed to the sugars that dental plaque thrives on.

3. Choose chocolate. A perennial favorite, chocolate is a good choice because it melts quickly which limits your mouth’s exposure to harmful sugars. There’s more good news. Studies by the University of Osaka show that cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, may actually help reduce gum inflammation.

4. Don’t nibble. It’s actually better to enjoy 3 or 4 pieces of candy in one sitting than to eat the same number of treats over several hours. This is because nibbling greatly extends the length of time your mouth is exposed to harmful acids.

5. Good oral hygiene rules! The basics -- brushing, flossing and rinsing with fluoride mouthwash -- right after eating candy will help prevent post-Halloween cavities. In a pinch, rinsing your mouth out with water washes away the sugars and acids from candy that lead to dental erosion.

“Fun as it is, Halloween is really the start of the country’s candy and dessert intensive holiday season,” says Fred Joyal, founder of 1-800-DENTIST®. “Between now and New Year’s, Americans will consume millions of sweets. Being smart about how and what they eat will help them avoid starting 2011 with serious dental problems.”

For more practical tips on protecting yourself from Halloween cavities or for help finding a dentist near you, visit: http://www.1800dentist.com/Halloween-cavities.

About 1-800-DENTIST®

1-800-DENTIST® is contacted by 6.5 million consumers annually in their 24-hour call center and via the search engines: 1800dentist.com, dentalreferral.com and dentistry.com. Futuredontics, Inc., is parent company of 1-800-DENTIST®, as well as the brands Dental Senders™ and Patient Activator®, each responsible for filling a different need in the marketing of a dental practice. For more information, http://www.1800dentist.com/

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