I don’t want to put a damper on your Halloween fun so here are some tips for keeping the CAVITY MONSTER away!
- Avoid snacking on candy and drinking sugary beverages throughout the day. The plaque on your teeth contains bacteria that feeds on sugar and releases acid that attacks teeth. Continual sipping and snacking subjects your teeth to continuous acid attacks which could lead to the breakdown of tooth enamel which eventually leads to cavities
- Instead of snacking and sipping all day, I recommend eating candy and drinking sugary beverages with meals. Saliva production increases during a meal, rinsing food particles from the mouth and neutralizing plaque acid which helps prevent tooth decay.
- Beware of candies like gummies and taffy, which stick to your teeth longer than something like chocolate, which easily washes away with saliva or by rinsing. Remember that hard sugary candies remain in the mouth longer, giving bacteria more time to create acid that weakens tooth enamel.
The ADA offers the following tips to help reduce tooth decay and still enjoy Halloween:
- Get those juices flowing: Consider chewing ADA Accepted sugarless gum after meals. Certain sugarless gums have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance for scientifically proving that chewing the gum for 20 minutes after meals helped prevent tooth decay.
- Go with the flow: Drinking optimally fluoridated water has been shown to reduce cavities from 20 to 40 percent.
- Take 3: Floss once a day, brush for 2-minutes twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and eat three healthy meals a day.
- Check out those vitamins: Eating calcium-rich foods such as cheese, leafy greens and almonds are good for the teeth. Protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs and fish are good sources of phosphorus. Both of these minerals can help rebuild tooth enamel and bone.
My final suggestion from escaping the Cavity Monster: DON’T FEAR THE DENTIST…we really aren’t here to haunt you!