Whether or not your community will be having trick or treating as usual this year, Halloween often means a noticeable uptick in the consumption of candy. While we love the occasional sweet treat too, we also know that too many could mean cavities in kids and adults alike. In today’s blog, your Bedford, MA, dentist explains what you can do to reduce your family’s risk of tooth decay.
The Link Between Your Halloween Candy and Cavities
Our favorite candies contain lots of sugar, which is left behind on and between our teeth. This is especially true if we eat treats with caramel, taffy, or other sticky ingredients that cling to the teeth. Harmful oral bacteria will break down and consume these stray food particles, in the process elevating the levels of oral acidity and coating the teeth in plaque buildup. Plaque is impossible to remove with brushing and flossing alone, and actually weakens and erodes the enamel. Cavities then form, leading to eventual tooth sensitivity and toothaches, and unless treated, could make the onset of infection more likely too!
Safer Halloween Habits
First, when your kids bring home their haul, limit how much candy they consume each day. Try to limit themselves to only one to two pieces after dinner, and wash them down with a glass of water, which helps cleanse the mouth. You could even offer your kids a chance to trade their candy in for a small toy or other prize. If you happen to be handing out treats this year, you could consider offering smile-health options, such as sugar-free gum, trail mix, or nuts. You could also offer stickers, temporary tattoos, and Halloween themed party favors, such as plastic spider rings or skeletons, or rubber bats.
Dental Care at Home
To help lower the risk of cavities, kids and adults alike need to care for their smiles from home. Which means brushing your teeth in the morning and before bed for about two minutes. Be sure to use a fluoride toothpaste, and a toothbrush with soft bristles. Flossing before bed is also crucial, as this reaches and removes the particles out of reach to a toothbrush’s bristles. These actions help limit the severity of plaque buildups, and lower the risk of cavities and gingivitis.
Checkups and Cleanings
You should also attend a checkup and cleaning every six months too, so we can keep an eye on your smile and of course, remove all plaque and tartar.
Do You Have Questions About Preventive Dentistry?
Our team wants to help you and your children avoid tooth decay with better homecare habits and routine visits. To learn more about protecting smiles of all ages this time of year, then schedule a consultation by calling Kennedy Family & Cosmetic Dentistry in Bedford, MA, today at (781) 275-0200.