A Tip before you (and your kids) go out Trick or Treating!
Every year before we go out trick or treating (or any time we eat sweets) we like to start the night off by brushing and flossing our teeth before we step out the door. Yes, we know what you're probably thinking "A minty mouth just before you eat sweets? no thanks!". We understand that this is not something everyone would want to do and to some of you it might even seem counterintuitive to brush before eating sweets instead of doing it afterwards, but this is why we believe this is a good idea.
Why should you brush and floss before you eat sweets?
First, we would like to start off by mentioning that we have no evidence to show that this can or will help prevent cavities, we are simply using our logic and experience as dental professionals to make sense of this.
We believe that by brushing and flossing before you eat sweets, you will remove many of the bacteria that is responsible for causing cavities. As mentioned on a previous post (Does Sugar Cause Cavities), "it is the acids created by the bacteria in our mouths when they consume sugars (or any fermentable carbohydrate) that is ultimately responsible for causing decay". Therefore it makes sense to try to minimize the amount of bacteria in our mouths before we consume any candies.
We know that it is impossible to effectively remove all of the bacteria in our mouths, but removing a significant amount especially from the chewing and interproximal surfaces of the teeth should help decrease the acidic environment created in our months. It's still a good idea to brush before you go to bed on Halloween night, but most of the time this ends up being many hours after you and/or your child have consumed many (we hope not) candies.
If you plan to do this "ritual" we recommend using a non-mint toothpaste to prevent your candy-eating experience from being a bad one. There are many natural and flavorless toothpaste you can buy that still include fluoride, but if you happen to not have any then we recommend brushing without any toothpaste at all. After all, using your bristles to remove the bacteria from your teeth is the most important thing about brushing!
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