When you go trick-or-treating this Halloween, we hope you have fun, but we also hope that you don’t get tooth decay as a result.
As much as we want to see your family at our dentist office in Monroe, LA, we would rather not have to fill in a cavity during your next visit. We want to see you and your children a couple times each year at Bayou Dental Group because we want to prevent those problems.
Since Halloween will be here in just a few days, we want to take a moment to remind you what you should be doing to prevent tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. That should include professional cleanings and examinations. If you haven’t scheduled your next cleaning, today is a good day to do that.
Preventive Dentistry Isn’t A Trick
We know what it takes to reduce your risk of developing cavities and gum disease. Every day you need to do the things that will protect your mouth against the bacteria that cause both of those problems.
This is why the American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth and cleaning between your teeth and gums every day.
Specifically, you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice each day. When you do this, you should scrub your teeth from every angle with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
This will go a long way toward removing cavity-causing bacteria and plaque, although it won’t get the spaces between your teeth or below your gumline. That’s why you need to use dental floss or some other interdental cleaner every day as well.
Floss, flossers, and water picks are all tools that you can use to remove food particles that bacteria use to form plaque and that can lead to gingivitis, which is a form of gum disease.
The final step in your preventive care is just as important as your daily oral hygiene routine. Professional cleanings by a dentist or hygienist at Bayou Dental Group will remove any plaque or tartar that you may have missed.
As part of your visit, we will be checking for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. If we see it, we can treat it before it turns into a bigger problem.
Treat Your Mouth Right This Halloween
Preventive dentistry is important for protecting your mouth against oral health problems.
Just remember that the foods you eat can make it harder or easier to keep your mouth healthy, too.
As much as you might love sweet, sugary treats, you need to remember that the bacteria in your mouth thrives on sugar as well. The more sugar you eat, the more likely some of it will get stuck between your teeth.
If that happens, bacteria can and will take advantage of that to form the sticky film we call plaque. That will keep the bacteria close to your teeth, where it can start to eat into your enamel. That tooth decay is what causes cavities.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has put together a list of tips to help you enjoy Halloween without putting your smile at risk.
Before you collect candy, sit down with your kids to talking about setting limits on how much candy they will keep. Discuss what they could do with the extra candy so they feel like they are helping someone else rather than losing out on more sweets.
You also should talk about limiting how much candy they eat at any one time. A piece of candy or two after a meal isn’t too bad (especially is they brush their teeth shortly thereafter), but a bowlful of candy is more than anyone should be eating in a single sitting.
Drinking water while you eat candy can help. The water can help to rinse away food particles. You can even swish some water in your mouth when you are finished eating to make it easier to clean your teeth later.
While it’s important to limit how much candy you eat, some candy like gummy bears, caramels, and sour candies can be worse than things like chocolates. Chewy candies are more likely to get caught in your teeth, and sour candies can be more acidic, which can damage your enamel.
Have Fun And Don’t Lose Your Smile
Our team at Bayou Dental Group wishes everyone in and around Monroe, LA, a safe and happy Halloween. We want you to enjoy your treats, but our dentist also wants you to take care of your teeth so you can continue enjoying those sweets for decades to come.