Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Fall is here, which marks the start of holiday festivities that all involve food and sweets. This Halloween, whether you are hosting family and friends at home or planning to raid your kid’s trick or treat bag for your favorite candy, make sure your plans will not compromise your dental health.
Keep your smile happy and healthy this Halloween by following these five tips as provided by your Poway family dentist at Smiles by Dr. Cook.
- Shorten your mealtime: One big reason that Halloween can be harmful to your dental health is snacking on candy throughout the day. The more often you consume candy—whether it is after a meal or sporadic snacking throughout the day—the longer your teeth are exposed to the sugary, sticky substance of candy. All of these substances interact with the bacteria that occur naturally in the mouth. Bacteria feed off these sugars, eventually forming into plaque, which is the basis for cavities. Grazing on candy from your kid’s loot bag means that you are bathing your teeth in sugar all day! Instead of snacking on candy throughout the day, just pick a set time to enjoy a few pieces and be done.
- Water, please: No matter what the situation, water always is the best beverage choice you can make—both for your oral health and your overall health. Water is sugar-free, calorie-free, non-acidic, and helps improve the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is a natural means of preventing the build-up of bacteria and plaque that leads to tooth decay. Keep a bottle or glass of water handy to sip on while you indulge in your favorite treats this Halloween. Drinking water helps rinse away food particles, sugar, and bacteria while you eat that may encourage the formation of plaque.
- Just keep brushing: No matter how busy you get during your Halloween or fall festival activities, there is no excuse for you neglecting your oral health. Be sure to keep up your regular routine of brushing twice per day and flossing daily. You even can take your toothbrush and floss with you if your festivities are taking place away from home, and brush and floss about 30 minutes after you have finished eating. If that isn’t possible, bring a pack of sugar-free gum containing xylitol and chew some after the meal, or after eating candy. This will clean away some of the food particles and bacteria on your teeth, encourage the production of saliva, and also aid with digestion.
- Be wary of the carb-loaded treats: Pretzels, crackers, and chips are loaded with carbs, which breakdown into sugar. So, it’s not just candy that is bad for your teeth this Halloween. You can still enjoy these treats if they are your favorites, however, just please do so in moderation.
General Dentist in Poway
While it is certainly ok to enjoy some candy loot this Halloween (we certainly will be!), just remember also to take care of your teeth by brushing and flossing at night before bed. If you would like to learn more ways to protect your oral health or to schedule a checkup and cleaning, please call (858) 673-0141 or contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.