When we consume a lot of candy, the sugary content could be a recipe for cavities. To help avoid the onset of tooth decay in smiles both young and old, we have a few tips. In today’s blog, your Ankeny, IA, dentist will explain how routine care at home and regular visits for checkups and cleanings can help keep cavities at bay during the spookiest time of the year.
The Causes of Tooth Decay
How does a cavity form? Tooth decay impacts smiles in children and adults alike, and occurs when harmful bacteria reach the sensitive inner layers of dentin within your tooth. These layers are typically protected by the outer enamel. However, when the enamel is weakened due to poor oral hygiene or injury, this exposes the dentin and allows a cavity to form. The decay then spreads unless treated, leading to painful sensitivity, persistent toothaches, and for some, the onset of an infected tooth.
The Damage Candy Can Cause
Too much sugar is a major cause too. When we consume candy, especially if it is chewy or sticky, this leaves behind particles clinging to the teeth or stuck between them. Bacteria will consume them, a process that leads to higher levels of oral acidity, and also coats the teeth in a layer of plaque buildup. Plaque erodes the enamel, exposing the inner dentin, and also contributes to bad breath, stained teeth, and even an elevated risk of developing gum disease.
Safe Halloween Tips
To keep your smile safe, start by limiting how much candy you or your child eat each day. Preferably, stick to one or two pieces just after a meal, and rinse your mouth by drinking a glass of water. If you have children, you may even be able to let them trade their candy in to you for a toy or other gift. People of all ages also need to practice good oral hygiene. Start by brushing your teeth in the morning and at night, for about two minutes each session. Be sure you use a toothpaste that contains fluoride too. People also benefit from flossing, as this reaches what a toothbrush alone likely cannot! Also, should you be handing our treats, try to offer candy-free options like stickers, temporary tattoos, Halloween themed toys and party favors, or nuts and trail mix. Be sure your family wears a mask and maintains a good social distance too!
Do You Need a Checkup and Cleaning?
At Peddicord Family Dentistry, our team wants to help you avoid cavities and other common oral health issues, so you maintain strong and beautiful smiles for years to come. Call Dr. Peddicord in our Ankeny, IA office at (515) 963-3339 to learn more about how we restore the health of your smile and prevent cavities.