Halloween is probably that one time of the year advocates of good oral health dread the most. As Dentistry IQ describes it, Halloween is a night when Americans pay no heed to the dangers of excessive sugar consumption—dental cavities foremost among them—and indulge in about 600 million pounds of tooth-decay-causing candies and treats to their hearts’ content. Dental technology provider Dentrix Ascend tops it off by providing some useful statistics about the “real horrors” behind Halloween sweets:

Four percent of all annual candy consumption occurs during Halloween. How much of the sugary stuff does an average American consume on Halloween? 3.4 pounds of ooey gooey sticky chewy candy. And parents let down their guards on Halloween, as 73% of children ages 3 to 5 eat candy on Halloween, and 87% of children ages 6 to 8 are allowed to consume candy.

As all good dental professionals know, sticky candies such as caramels, and those that are held in the mouth for a long time such as lollipops, are extra bad on teeth because the sugar lingers in the mouth longer.

Scary stuff happens to teeth at Halloween-Check out this infographic on sugar's monstrous effects

While candy makes Halloween fun, people must remember that giving in to these temptations won’t do them any good in the long run regardless if they’re trick-or-treating or not. South Carolinians who think they already have underlying dental problems, in particular, should visit their favorite dentist not only during Halloween but at regular intervals each year. Meanwhile, people who feel uneasy about undergoing dental procedures might want to seek an experienced dentist in Greenville, SC such as Dr. Brian Derrick of Falls Park Dentistry who has built a practice around creating a positive, stress-free environment for patients.

Many South Carolinians would do well to heed the call to look after their oral health. According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, only 62.2 percent of adults in the state have had their teeth cleaned last year, which is a bit lower than the national average of 68.5 percent. In fact, only 63.4 percent visited their dentist last year, compared to 69.7 percent for the rest of the country. Without proper oral care, one risks developing chewing problems, tooth abscesses, and broken teeth due to cavities.

While it’s possible to treat oral cavities with tooth restoration and remineralization procedures, prevention is much more preferable. To this end, it would be wise to visit seasoned dentists in Greenville, SC for regular oral exams, dental cleaning, and other procedures as necessary. Those who fail to do so can only look forward to having toothless smiles next Halloween, which can be a scary prospect indeed.

(Source: Scary stuff happens to teeth at Halloween: Check out this infographic on sugar’s monstrous effects, Dentistry IQ, October 28, 2014)