SOURCE: :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans

October 27, 2015 13:35 ET

Don't Trick Your Teeth

Avoid Halloween Nightmares With Healthy Smile Tips From :DentalPlans

PLANTATION, FL--(Marketwired - October 27, 2015) - Across the nation, about 9 out of 10 Americans have collectively spent $2.1 billion to purchase 90 million pounds of candy for Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) annual survey. Most of that candy will be consumed by kids.

The average trick-or-treater visits 15 houses and may receive up to 60 pieces of "fun-size" candy on Halloween night -- equivalent to three cups of sugar, according to a study by Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

It seems logical to brand Halloween as the anti-oral health holiday. But sugar itself doesn't rot your teeth -- it's used as fuel by the acid-producing bacteria that live in our mouths. These bacteria love carbohydrates and they don't care whether they come from candy or healthy whole grains.

Carb-fueled bacteria multiply super-fast, creating an acidic environment in your mouth that weakens teeth and fosters the growth of bacterial plaque. Over time, without proper oral hygiene and dental care, the plaque clinging to teeth works its way under the gums, resulting in oral infections and tooth decay. Bacterial plaque is the primary cause of 90% of all dental disease.

You can battle your mouth's destructive bacteria with these tips:

1: Choose your treats wisely: any carbohydrate that clings to your teeth -- think sticky candies, dried fruit, and caramels -- provides a steady source of fuel for oral bacteria. Chocoholics rejoice! A small candy bar is actually better for your teeth than a bag of raisins.

2: Rinse your mouth: Rinsing assists saliva to wash away food that is clinging to your teeth. So does sugarless chewing gum, as it helps to increase saliva flow and neutralize the acid levels in your mouth. If you can't brush and floss immediately following a carbohydrate-laden snack, then rinse and/or chew gum to help squelch bad bacteria activity.

3: Time your snacks: A ready supply of sweets, compliments of trick-or-treating, can tempt us to snack frequently throughout the day. This results in a steady fuel source for oral bacteria. It's better to have a reasonable portion of a sweet treat once a day than to continually graze on those cute little "fun size" candy bars.

4: Go ahead, have dessert: Research indicates that having a treat with a meal is less likely to result in decay than consuming candy between meals. This is because our saliva flow increases during meals, which helps to rinse food particles from teeth.

5: Keep it clean: control plaque by brushing thoroughly twice a day plus daily flossing, along with regular professional cleanings.

"At :DentalPlans, our mission is to provide the information and tools that empower people to live healthy, happy lives," says Bill Chase, vice-president of marketing for :DentalPlans. "Good dental health practices aren't just for holidays. With our dental savings plans and other affordable alternatives to traditional insurance we aim to keep people smiling every day of the year."

To find out more about the advantages of dental savings plans, along with plans that help to reduce the costs of other vital healthcare services, visit dentalplans.com.

About :DentalPlans

:DentalPlans, founded in 1999, is a leading dental and health savings marketplace in the U.S., helping more than a million people to affordably access quality healthcare services. Our mission is to empower consumers with the tools, information, and services that they need to live happier, healthier lives.

We provide comprehensive resource centers aimed at helping people to maintain/regain optimal health, and successfully navigate the maze of healthcare payment options (including Obamacare and Medicaid.) Our independent research -- the :DP SmileMeter™ and :DP SmileIndex™ -- delivers a unique look into the consumer healthcare market.

We offer user-friendly access to a wide selection of traditional dental insurance and 30+dental savings plans, along with innovative healthcare offerings including telemedicine, medical advocacy, and online counseling services. Our online plan comparison and savings calculator tools help consumers to make smart choices about essential healthcare services, and our :DP AtYourService™ customer support team leaves no question unanswered. For more information, visit us at www.dentalplans.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube.

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