Halloween: a time of dressing up, delicious treats, and fun for all ages. A glorious holiday in which sugary and acidic foods and drinks tempt us from all sides. Spookily delicious cocktails and lattes entice pedestrians from every street corner, and mounds of candies and chocolates shout their welcome as soon as the tempted shopper steps foot inside a grocery store. For anyone with a sweet tooth, this is heaven. Bulk-bought, discounted, time-limited heaven. But how to indulge without ending up with a mouth full of rotten teeth?

For one, brushing timely will help to reduce the damage. After consuming treats high in sugar but low in acidity (such as chocolate), brushing right away will help get rid of bacteria before they start attacking the enamel. However, this is not the case for foods or drinks high in acidity (such as anything in the citrus family). These types of treats will weaken the enamel as they are being consumed, and brushing right after will instead attack the enamel while it’s down. In this case, it is best to wait at least half an hour before brushing. Drinking and swishing around water instead will help to clean the mouth without hurting the enamel.

In between indulging in treats, chewing sugar-free gum will help to further protect the teeth. This increases the production of saliva in the mouth, which helps to wash out any sugar that may be coating the teeth.

As always, continue to practice the daily oral hygiene routine. If you know you won’t be in the mood to floss at the end of the night, do it in the morning and save yourself the trouble. No matter how difficult it may be to garner the self control to brush after a fun night, this will minimize the damage from all that indulgence and help keep teeth healthy and beautiful.

Trick or Treat! How to enjoy sugary Halloween treats without ending up with zombie teeth

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