Vampires have always been a favorite fun Halloween costume choice. But the immense box office success of the Twilight film series and the True Blood TV series have made vampires downright sexy. If you’re planning to flash a fanged smile this Halloween, Jacksonville cosmetic dentist Dr. Eric Burgess has a few safety tips for you.
Just because a product is manufactured, packaged up and stocked on the shelves of your local store, don’t assume that they’re of high quality. A perfectly legal product isn’t necessarily a perfectly safe product – a big consideration when you’re talking about a costume piece worn in your mouth (either as a single piece that slips in front of your gum or separate pieces that each slip over your canine teeth). But there are ways to make sure the vampire teeth you’re buying as part of your costume are both stylish and safe.
- Know the numbers game: Different types of plastics are labeled by different numbers, according to the type of petroleum-based plastic resin used in manufacturing. Environmentally conscious consumers are familiar with these numbers, because they determine whether and where a product can be recycled. When buying fake vampire teeth, look for the numbers 4 and 5, which are generally considered food safe.
- Toss the toxins: You might think that painted products meant for the mouth are non-toxic. In many cases, you’d be wrong. Purchase only teeth that come in their own separate, sealed package with a list of materials used to make the teeth. If the package doesn’t specify that non-toxic paint is used, toss them back in the bin and shop elsewhere.
- Take a bite test: Fake vampire teeth should be flexible enough that they won’t cut into your gum, or in to your friend’s skin should you get a little carried away for the role playing for that Facebook photo. Gently rub your fingers over the tips of the teeth. If they’re too rigid, choose another set. Be sure to file down any too-sharp points or edges with an emery board.
- Give them a good cleaning: Before wearing you vampire teeth, clean them with soap and water. Then, run hydrogen peroxide over them, rinse and repeat until the peroxide no longer forms bubbles when on the teeth.
Of course, enjoy a few sweet treats, but don’t overdo it on the Halloween candy and make sure to brush and floss extra well. From all of us here at the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, happy haunting!