In this guide brought to you by Wolter Advanced Dental Care in Chambersburg, PA, we explain how to keep your smile healthy despite all the temptations of Halloween.
Are Cavities More Common During The Halloween Season?
While there hasn’t been any definitive research into whether or not there is a spike in cavities following the Halloween season, anyone with common sense might make the connection between all the sugary treats and an increased risk of cavities.
A study conducted from 1999-2004 concluded that 92% of adults (aged 20-64) in the United States have had at least one cavity in their permanent adult teeth. Cavities, also known as tooth decay, occur due to the bacteria that live in everyone’s mouths. When someone consumes a lot of sugary or starchy foods and drinks, it is wise to remember to rinse after a meal or a snack with water and remember your daily brushing and flossing routine. Otherwise, you run the risk of the bacteria converting the carbohydrates into acids that damage your tooth enamel. These permanent holes in teeth are called cavities.
If left untreated, a cavity can become a dental abscess, an even more serious problem. This kind of infection can spread to the gums and even other parts of the body. If you do have a cavity, your dentist should be able to remove the damaged part of the tooth and replace it with a dental filling. To avoid cavities altogether, read on to learn some strategies to employ during the trick-or-treating season.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Pick And Choose
Part of the fun of Halloween is getting as much candy and treats as possible, but once you get home, don’t be shy about weeding out any candies that are not favorites. You might also like to know that chocolate without filling can be a better choice for your teeth than sticky, gummy, and hard candies. Stickier candies are much more likely to stick to teeth.
2. Put Candy Time On The Schedule
It might sound indulgent to schedule designated candy time–but it’s better than endlessly snacking on sugar throughout the day. It might seem reasonable to have one or two bite-sized candies every hour or so, but it all adds up. The result is that your mouth becomes a very sugar-rich environment for cavity-causing bacteria, and your natural saliva production won’t be able to keep up and neutralize all the acids.
3. Candy Can Be A Dessert After Meals
Limiting your candy intake to a dessert or treat after your meals can be a good strategy. Your saliva production increases during meals, so coupling candy with your meals can be ideal for having adequate saliva production to wash away any excess sugars.
4. Don’t Forget To Drink Lots Of Water
Staying hydrated all year round has plenty of health benefits, but try choosing water over other sugary drinks during the Halloween season to balance your sugar intake. Drinking water can help flush away any bacteria lurking in your teeth. This applies to Halloween candy, and any other sugar-rich drinks or treats for the rest of the year as well.
5. Don’t Forget To Visit The Dentist
Even if you don’t have a toothache or cavity, it is important to visit your dentist twice a year or once every six months. This is because your dentist can give you a professional clean and expert evaluation of issues that you may have missed. When it comes to dental care, the best care can be preventative instead of corrective. If you are seeking dental care in the Chambersburg, PA area, consider Wolter Advanced Dental Care. Call 717-496-9093 to schedule a consultation today.