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halloween oral health advice in southampton

Trick or Treat at Bridgeways Dental

It’s that time of year again, it’s getting cooler outside and autumn is upon us. Oh, and let’s not forget it’s Halloween! A tradition is to carve pumpkins into scary faces, or will you get creative and let your artistic side show with some crafty carving? The nights are drawing in and autumn foods are warming our bellies… or you might try to use that leftover pumpkin to make something (pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, or maybe just a pumpkin mess!)

What is Halloween? As a bit of background, the Halloween celebration originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts believed that the dead returned to earth on the 31st of October. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts and appease them by giving them treats.

Modern-day Halloween traditions of fancy dress and trick-or-treating also have roots as far back as the 16th Century, however in recent years “American-style” Halloween practices have really taken off. It’s often an excuse for dressing up in funky outfits, being silly, and eating way too much many sweets!


With this in mind, here are a few good tips to get through to the other side with your teeth intact…


Dental Halloween Tip 1

With all of the unhealthy things about, now is a great time to talk to your kids about dental health, and how sweet foods can affect their teeth. Consider sitting down with your kids to teach or remind them that high sugar-containing food and drink can lead to dental caries (tooth decay). Try to come up with positive and health changes as a family that you can take into the festive period and the following year. As your children mature, getting friends or changing to new schools, they will start to make their own choices about things they eat and drink. They ultimately have control over their diets and how they look after their dental and overall health. Our dental hygienist Kirsty sees children (on their own or in family groups) to discuss all aspects of good dental care including diet, so it might be worth booking an appointment.

Dental Halloween Tip 2

“Everything in moderation” is probably the best policy when it comes to Halloween. Keeping your kids out of the fun just because of the sugar may make it even more irresistible. Try not to consume too many sweets, and remember that the best time of day to have sweet things is at mealtimes, as this reduces the “acid-attack” frequency on the teeth compared to snacking throughout the day.

Dental Halloween Tip 3

Unfortunately, if you or your children have braces, you are going to have to be selective with the treats you choose. It’s really important to avoid hard or chewy sweets, nuts, popcorn, caramel, bubble-gum, as they can damage or break the brace. Better options are soft sweets and chocolates. If you’re having a party then make sure to have brace-friendly options available, and check children’s party bags and treats for more harmful items. Drinking water frequently will also help to rinse some of the sugary particles away.

Dental Halloween Tip 4

Before your child goes out for trick-or-treating, a healthy autumn dinner will help fill them up and suppress the urge to eat all the Halloween sweets they collect in one go!

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Dental Halloween Tip 5

I am sure that you are all brushing at least twice a day – at bedtime and at one other time, normally in the morning. However, when eating sweets, it is best to brush your teeth BEFORE eating the treats and either immediately after, or wait around 20 minutes. This gives the enzymes in your saliva time to battle the acid attack, reducing the chance of tooth erosion. If you wear braces, it’s even more important to make sure your teeth are clean and free from plaque as you can get white marks or even decay on your teeth where your braces sit which won’t come off once your braces are removed. Always use a fluoride containing mouthwash for extra protection.


If you want any more tips on how to keep your teeth healthy or want to drop off any of those leftover sweets for the dental nurses… then pop into Bridgeways Dental! Happy Halloween!


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Written By Rhiannon

Our October blog post is written by our super receptionist, dental nurse, and long-time Halloween fan Rhiannon.