It’s no secret that Halloween – and the fall season at large! – is a time for sugary sweets. Between pumpkin spice lattes, caramel apples, pies, s’mores, and Halloween candy bars, you might notice a pattern: these popular fall foods are all characterized by a sticky-sweet substance.
Worse even than pure granulated sugar, caramel, nougat, and other syrups stick to your teeth—and for longer than you might think. That’s because sticky foods can get into even the slightest contours of each tooth, then permeate through the surface the longer they stay there.
Of course, it’s okay to indulge in your favorite fall treats on occasion as long as you’re keeping up your optimal oral health routine (brushing twice a day, rinsing periodically, flossing once a day, and seeing your dentist every 6 months). But did you know there are plenty of fall treats that are actually good for you and your teeth?
At Russo Dentistry, we’ve seen firsthand the kind of damage sugary, sticky sweetness can do. Start off with a clean bill of health by getting your dental checkup this fall, then try indulging in these fall food instead (or, at least, more often than the syrupy stuff!)
Apple-picking is a classic fall pastime and for good reason. Going to an orchard offers scenery, exercise, and family fun—not to mention the apples themselves! Though many varieties of apples are a source of natural sugar, their fibrous texture is ideal for teeth because they’re firm without being hard. Plus, they offer numerous other health benefits for your heart, bones skin, and digestive system.
Pumpkins and Pumpkin Seeds
Similarly, trips to the pumpkin patch provide a fall day’s adventure with the promise of a nutritious, tasty snack. Pumpkin seeds are great for maintaining your oral health as they contain fiber, protein, and iron to keep your teeth strong, while vitamins a and c found in pumpkins prevent tooth decay.
Another mainstay of fall tables is a deliciously decorative charcuterie or cheese plate where you can find an excellent source of calcium to keep your mouth healthy and strong. Unlike the dairy product found in a chocolate mousse pie, cheese doesn’t come with loads of sugar.
While not all nuts are created equal (almonds, for example, can sometimes be rough on the teeth and gums) most of them are good for your dental health in a few different ways. Like syrup, they get into the contours of your teeth—nut they don’t stay there! Instead, they remove surface plaque while your jaw also gets a healthy workout chewing them.
When it comes to sticky, sweet, syrup-y fall foods, it’s all about balance. Be sure to incorporate these tasty harvest-time treats too, and pay careful attention to your daily dental care routine. And if you’re concerned you’ve had one caramel apple too many, contact Dr Russo Dentistry in Raleigh today to stay healthy this autumn.