Happy Halloween from the Antoine Dental Center in Houston, TX! Are you and your children already digging into all the Halloween goodies? There must be a million brands of candy out there these days. All of them taste delicious but all of them can cause the same problem: tooth decay.
Halloween candy is one of the most decay-causing foods that our patients regularly consume. We understand the appeal of Halloween candy, and eat plenty of it ourselves. But in today’s post of our dental health blog, we want to give you five tips and tricks for keeping the cavities away this October.
#1. Understand the Mechanisms of Tooth Decay
We it comes to preventive dentistry, education is key. It’s far easier to avoid tooth decay if you understand what’s causing the decay. Tooth decay is caused by the accumulation of plaque and dental tartar on the enamel of your teeth.
But what causes plaque and dental tartar? Bacteria. Whenever you eat, small particles of the food remain on your teeth. Bacteria feed on this leftover food. As bacteria accumulates it turns into an acidic film of plaque. Plaque can then harden into dental tartar.
Plaque and dental tartar can wreck havoc on your smile. It’s imperative to remove it from your teeth. Sugary candy is especially troublesome because the bacteria is attracted to the sugar.
#2. Brush and Floss with Regularity
Everyone knows, or should know, that brushing teeth is important. Brushing your teeth helps to remove the plaque from your teeth. But many people only brush their teeth in the morning. For best health, you should brush after every meal. Or at the very least, twice a day.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re brushing your teeth for at least two minutes at a time. If you brush your teeth real quickly, the ingredients in the tooth paste simply do not have enough time to take effect.
Flossing also needs to be done everyday. Flossing helps remove plaque from the places your toothbrush can’t reach. This helps prevent the development of painful cavities between your teeth.
#3. Drink Water Instead of Soda
Water is a great choice to go with candy. Water helps rinse bacteria out of your mouth. So we encourage our patients to drink a glass of water with their candy. At the very least, if you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating candy, you should rinse your mouth out with water.
Public supplies of water also have an added benefit. Generally, public water is enriched with the mineral fluoride. Fluoride is the key ingredient of many toothpastes; it works to strengthen the enamel of your teeth and make them more resistant to decay.
Soda should only be drank in moderation. Soda is extremely acidic, it can actually remove the rust off of a car engine. This acidity also weakens the health of your enamel. When you drink soda with candy, your enamel is more vulnerable to the bacteria attracted to the candy.
#4. Schedule a Dentist Appointment
You need to have your teeth cleaned and examined every six months. This cleaning is vital for removing plaque and dental tartar. Most dental tartar cannot be removed without a professional cleaning, and it can also be difficult to remove plaque with just brushing and flossing.
During a routine appointment, we will also screen you for tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Early detection of any of these conditions is vital towards ensuring treatment of the disorder.
So schedule an appointment at the Antoine Dental Center today. We are proud to serve the residents of Houston, TX. You can call us at 713-364-8990 to schedule an appointment.