Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide

Here we go again! Halloween is here and with Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.

Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.

But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”

To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag, I want to pass on a few tips on how to avoid cavities:

1: Increase your resistance to cavities. Obviously the best way to prevent disease (and tooth decay is a disease) is to create a healthy environment in our mouths 365 days a year. That way our teeth will be prepared. If our mouths are acidic then the cavity-causing bacteria will thrive. Don’t hesitate to contact me with questions on how to decrease acidity in our mouths.

2: Be picky if it’s sticky! These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. Chewy things like caramel gets into the grooves of the molar teeth which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work.

3: Toss the sour stuff: Speaking of acidity, sour candy has pH levels that are much lower than regular candy. Not only that, sour candies are usually designed to be chewed or sucked on over time which is more damaging to teeth. The negative effects of these candies can linger in your mouths for hours.

4: Hard candy: Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful. You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.

5: Damage Control: When you and your kids consume any candy don’t wait too long to brush. It only takes about 20 minutes for the cavity bugs to begin an all-out assault on our enamel. At the very least, rinse out your mouth with water.

 

Sources: www.mouthhealthy.org, steelvalleysmiles.com

PROFESSIONAL TEETH WHITENING PRODUCTS

If you have taken a close look at your teeth in the mirror, you may have noticed how yellow your teeth have become. Once you notice the stains developing on your teeth, it can make you self-conscious about your smile.

You brush and floss daily to keep your teeth clean (you are brushing and flossing every day, right?). Nevertheless, years of coffee, tea, soft drinks, tomato sauces and pretty much everything you eat and drink can stain your teeth over time.

This is where teeth whitening can help. The active ingredients in teeth whitening products can remove stains that have set in over many years.

There are several commercial teeth whitening products available at any retail store. Will they work? To a degree, yes, but it can take a lot longer or you may never see the results that you want.

The professional whitening products (such as Opalescence whitening products that we use in our office) have much higher concentration of the active ingredients than the commercial products. So they work much faster and more effectively than any over the counter stuff.

If you would like to see how our professional teeth whitening can help you, make plans to visit our office. We will be happy to answer any questions and explain how our in-office or take-home whitening treatments can give you a new smile.

The importance of regular Dental Visits

Regular dental visits are important because they help to keep your teeth and gums healthy. During the check-up, your dental professional will check your overall oral health for any trouble areas. During the cleaning, your dental professional will remove any plaque and tartar buildup as well as polish your teeth.

 

New CDC Statistics show the need for increased access to dental care with a greater emphasis on disease prevention.

Source: http://www.ada.org/en/press-room/news-releases/2015-archive/may/new-cdc-data-on-adult-cavities