Halloween is a great time to enjoy a scary movie or two, or to accompany your children as they trick or treat. However, Halloween is also a holiday that encourages a lot of sugar consumption and leads to a greater risk of tooth decay in smiles of all ages. In order to ensure your family enjoys a smile-healthy Halloween, your Independence, MO, dentist has a few tips!
How Does a Cavity Form?
When you consume too much sugar, this means particles become trapped on or between your teeth. Chewy and sticky candies are even more likely to leave behind bits attached to your teeth. Over time, these particles are broken down by bacteria, a process leading to higher levels of oral acidity and a sticky layer of plaque buildup coating the teeth. Plaque buildup not only makes stains more apparent, but also weakens tooth enamel and increases the risk of enamel erosion. Weak and eroded enamel allows harmful bacteria to reach the inner tooth structure, causing a cavity to form. Teeth may begin to feel sensitive and ache, and the cavity will only grow more severe with time unless treated.
How Do I Prevent Tooth Decay?
To limit the risk of cavities, try to limit how much candy you and your family eat each day. Reserve them for after meal time and follow them with a glass of water. The water helps cleanse the mouth, and after dinner means a short amount of time until everyone brushes and flosses. People of all ages need to brush their teeth for two minutes before they go to bed and when they wake up. Flossing before bed is also essential. These steps help remove the trapped food particles and reduce how much plaque accumulates. A routine visit for checkups and cleanings is also recommended, and visits should happen about once every six months.
A Smile Happy Holiday
Parents may consider allowing their kids to exchange their candy for a small toy or video game. For the other little ones in the neighborhood, they could also hand out candy alternatives, such as temporary tattoos, stickers, Halloween party favors, and other items kids enjoy. You can help protect smiles and lower the risk of cavities. If you have any questions, or if you would like to schedule a visit for you or your children, then contact our team today.
Do You Have Questions About Cavity-Prevention?
We can help you and your loved ones enjoy a healthy, bright smile free of decay and infection. For more information on our children’s dental care and preventive treatments, then schedule a consultation by contacting Independence Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Independence, MO, today at 816-350-0808. We also proudly serve patients who live in Grain Valley, Liberty, and all surrounding communities.