In this guide brought to you by Waco Dental in Texas, we explain how you may be more likely to get cavities during the Halloween season and how to keep your smile safe.
Is There A Greater Chance I’ll Get Cavities During The Halloween Season?
Everyone has heard of cavities. In fact, results from a study conducted in 1999-2004 found that approximately 9 out of every 10 adults in the United States have had at least one cavity at some point in their life–that would definitely make cavities a very common dental concern. Everyone knows that sugar is bad for their teeth, but they may not be sure why.
Sugar plays a crucial role in the increased risk of tooth decay. Tooth decay is damage to the protective outer layer of your teeth, also called tooth enamel. The term tooth decay can often be used interchangeably with the term cavity, but at times, cavity specifically refers to a permanent hole or opening that has formed in a tooth because of the damage.
There are many types of bacteria that live in your mouth. Some are beneficial, while other bacteria can potentially be harmful. Tooth decay and cavities are caused by bacteria that love to eat sugar. The more these bacteria digest sugar, the more they produce harmful acids. The more your teeth are exposed to this acid, the more it wears away at your teeth, causing tooth decay.
Dentists can treat cavities by removing the damaged part of the tooth with a drill and placing a protective filling into the opening. When untreated, a cavity can result in toothache, infection, and even tooth loss. In especially serious cases, a patient may need a root canal or have to get their tooth removed entirely. But cavities can certainly be avoided, even as we enjoy all the sweet treats of Halloween.
1. Don’t Be Afraid Of Being Picky
As fun as it is to get and hoard as much candy as possible, if you want to be mindful of your sugar intake, you shouldn’t be afraid of wasting or giving away any candy that isn’t your favorite. Chocolate lovers are in luck especially, because, in comparison to stickier, gummier, and hard candies, chocolate without filling can be the safer choice.
2. Remember To Stay Hydrated
Rinsing with water can be a smart way to wash away sugar or bacteria stuck on your teeth after you enjoy some candy. When possible, consider water over other sodas or sugary drinks so you can balance your sugar consumption during the Halloween season.
3. Create A Designated Time For Candy Sessions
Scheduled candy sessions may sound very indulgent, but they can be a more strategic choice than having candy and Halloween cookies nonstop throughout the day. While treating yourself to a bite-sized candy every one or two hours may not seem unreasonable, you would make your mouth a sugar-rich environment in that harmful bacteria could thrive.
4. Think Of Candy As A Dessert
Another strategic choice is to save your candy to eat after your meals. Your body’s saliva production does a lot to wash away food debris, and bacteria. After a meal, you can expect heightened saliva production to help sweep away sugars.
5. Don’t Forget To Brush And Floss
Remember to continue your daily ritual of brushing twice a day and flossing at least once. It’s easy to forget to do so with all the reasons to stay out late. It might be tempting to fall asleep on the couch during a movie marathon, but don’t forget to brush before you doze off for good.
6. Be Sure To Visit The Dentist Regularly
Even if you don’t have a toothache after Halloween, it’s important to keep your regularly scheduled dentist’s checkups. Your dentist should be able to expect a visit from you twice a year, or once every 6 months. Even if you don’t have bleeding gums and it feels like nothing is wrong, a dentist’s expert evaluation is an excellent way of avoiding warning signs for issues you might have missed. For patients in the Waco, TX area, consider Dr. Martin and the team at Waco Dental. Call and schedule an appointment today at 254-754-3505.