Halloween is coming up and the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is reminding the public how to protect their teeth.

The ODA says many treats can cause damage. They say chips of all varieties and flavours can do harm by sticking to teeth and breaking down into sugar, which can cause cavities. Plain chocolate dissolves quickly which is good and gives less of a chance of causing cavity, but it still has sugar so people should eat in moderation. Slowly sucking on hard candies soaks your teeth in sugar, again causing cavities. Biting down on hard candy and jaw breakers can also crack or chip your teeth. Anything like caramels, gummy bears, licorice or raisins can stick in the crevices of your teeth and cause tooth decay. Sour candies are even more dangerous because the acid that makes them tart can also erode enamel, according to the ODA.

The ODA’s tips include: swishing water in your mouth after eating your treats to wash away the sugar and acid. People should try to eat candy after a meal to limit the chances of over doing it. Eating cheese before treats leaves a protective, vitamin-rich coating on your teeth. Nuts are a healthy, more tooth-friendly snack and sugar-free gum is also great for your teeth and your breath. The ODA says floss is boss, so use it every day to get any leftover debris from in between your teeth. Their last tip is to wait 30 minutes before brushing to prevent damage to your enamel.