Did we scare you? …No? Well, shucks. However, if you’re a parent around this time of year, we can think of a couple things that probably do – and Halloween is high on that list. Aside from the ghouls and ghosts, a big, hidden fear-factor on All Hallow’s Eve is dental health – all that candy can create a true nightmare for teeth. Fear not, however, because at Dentistry for Children, our mission is to provide the absolute best in dental care, so we’ll give you the low down on how to keep smiles safe for many more Halloweens to come.
Candy causes cavities by making the mouth more acidic. The sugar and refined carbohydrates in candy provide food for many of the bacteria that live in our mouth, and these bacteria break down the sugar into acidic by-products that eat away at tooth enamel and cause damaging cavities. Sound scary? It certainly should. Unchecked cavities can lead to some truly frightening consequences down the road.
But before you toss out that hard-earned candy loot, there are ways to minimize the damage done by Halloween candy. The first and most important, as always, is to brush and floss teeth after candy consumption. Brushing and flossing clears away sugar and food particles in the mouth, flushes out acidic compounds, and leaves teeth clean and relatively free of damaging chemicals. After your kids have had all that fun dressing up and trick-or-treating, be sure to have them brush and floss their teeth before bed. Additionally, try not to give candy out over extended periods of time – the higher the frequency of candy consumption, the more time the teeth are exposed to an acidic environment, and consequently the more damage is caused. From an oral health standpoint, it’s a better call to let kids over-indulge for one night than ration candy moderately over an extended period. Keeping frequency low, combined with brushing and flossing after consumption, will keep smiles happy, healthy and cavity free!
Of course, if things ever really get scary, you can always call us – we love hearing from our patients, whether it’s about Halloween or any of the other services we offer. Feel free to contact us at our Montgomery & Wetumpka, AL offices. Have a happy Halloween!