(WHNT) — Don’t let the Halloween candy binge lead to a mouthful of dental decay — that’s the message from Alabama health officials ahead of All Hallow’s Eve.

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), candy consumption skyrockets during the Halloween season. With that uptick in eating candy, officials say candy intake should be regulated and everyone should be vigilant about good oral health.

ADPH’s Oral Health Office offered tips to avoid tooth decay during Halloween:

  • Timing: Children should be allowed to eat Halloween candy with meals or shortly after! Officials say saliva produced during meals helps cancel out bacterial acids in the mouth, and rinse away leftover particles. Snacking out of a candy bowl can increase the likelihood of cavities as well.
  • Choose Carefully… Avoid hard or sticky candy that can stay stuck in the mouth. The longer a sugary food is in your mouth, the more likely it is that you’ll develop tooth decay.
  • Drink More Water! Multiple health organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), say drinking water can prevent tooth decay. Bottled water is preferred to tap water as it guarantees fluoride consumption, officials say.
  • Brush and Floss: Never forget to brush and floss! You should brush your teeth in the morning and before bed with flossing added once per day.

Learn more about oral health and how to combat dental decay at alabamapublichealth.gov.