Happy Halloween from the Plano Smile Studio in Plano, TX! Are you prepared for a constant stream of trick or treaters at your door? You buy bags full of candies, maybe even springing for for full-size candy bars to hand out. If you’re a parent, you dutifully take your child door to door. You watch as they fill up their bags with candy and their eyes light up with joy.
Halloween is a wonderful time of year. But Halloween also contains dangers for you an your family. This danger does not manifest as man turning into a werewolf during a full moon, or even as alien beings beaming down from their UFO. The danger we’re describing is that of tooth decay.
Tooth decay is caused by the foods you eat, and the beverages you drink. Whenever you chew, some residue remains upon your teeth. This leftover food and drink attracts bacteria. Over time, this bacteria turns into an acidic film of plaque. Plaque works to dissolve holes into your teeth.
But what does that have to do with Halloween? It’s simply really, sugared foods tend to attract the most bacteria of any food you eat. We often treat patients in the months following Halloween; children are especially prone to having cavities during this season.
But that’s not to say that you can’t or shouldn’t enjoy Halloween candy this year. Moderation is the key to everything in life. But there are a few additional things you can keep in mind to make sure you keep your family’s mouth decay-free during this holiday.
Now is the time of year to be strict about your children’s brushing and flossing regime. They need to be brushing their teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes at a time. Two minutes can seem like an eternity for children. But the fluoride in toothpaste needs time to take effect. You may want to consider buying a toothbrush with a built-in timer for your children. There are many inexpensive options at your local grocery store.
In addition, make sure they are flossing every day. Anytime is a good time to floss; flossing ensures that candy isn’t stuck in the hard to reach places in their mouth. Flossing helps remove plaque from teeth, and prevent the development of cavities and other decay in between their teeth. If your children struggle with floss, consider buying a floss pick.
Everyone should also be on alert when flossing. If it has been a long-time since you flossed with regularity, you may experience minor bleeding of gums during the first couple weeks of flossing. But if bleeding persists past that time, be sure and contact our office. Bleeding gums may be a sign of gum disease or other ailment.
Another easy trick is to serve water with candy, instead of soda. A nice glass of water can held wash away much of the bacteria left by candy. In addition, many public supplies of water contain fluoride which works to strengthen their enamel. Plus, you reduce the risk of tooth decay from drinking soda.
All soda, no matter the brand or sugar content, is extremely acidic. The acidity of soda can wear away at the enamel of your teeth. This is extremely dangerous if you are also eating candy at the same time. Bacteria can be attracted to the weakened area of your enamel and quickly cause decay.
This time of year is also an ideal time to make sure you’ve schedule a dental appointment for everyone in your family. Routine dental appointments allow us to clean your teeth and check for early signs of tooth decay. This helps prevent a small problem from turning into a larger one. The American Dental Association recommends scheduling an appointment every six months.
So make an appointment at the Plano Smile Studio in Plano, TX, today. You can reach our office by calling (972) 398-2550.