Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Halloween is a favorite time of year for families. But it can be challenging to forgo candy and sweet treats. Even though most people understand that consuming too much sugar may lead to cavities, Dr. Nicol Cook, a leading Poway family dentist, doesn’t expect you to avoid sweet treats entirely. Instead, we share tips on the blog today to help you protect your oral health this Halloween.
After an evening of trick-or-treating, many families raid their candy buckets. But other families may limit how much or how often candy is consumed. No matter which method you choose, Dr. Cook explains that cavity development is related to how often you consume candy, not necessarily the amount you eat in one sitting.
For example, some people feel that one piece of candy three times a day is a healthier choice than three pieces in one sitting. However, Rancho Bernardo’s family dentists agree that nibbling on candy throughout the day continuously coats your teeth with sugar. Now, patients who brush in the morning, eat candy in the afternoon, and don’t brush again until before bed allow bacteria to harm tooth enamel throughout the day. Therefore, allowing several pieces of candy in one sitting around mealtime may do less harm to your teeth than snacking on it multiple times a day. Additionally, Dr. Cook encourages patients to brush their teeth after eating candy, especially before bed.
Water is crucial to your overall health and wellness as it negates dry mouth and helps maintain hydration. In addition, our family dentist in Poway explains that drinking water throughout the day can help rinse food, sugar, or harmful bacteria away, reducing your risk of cavity and gum disease. Drinking water also helps freshen your breath when brushing is not possible. So, while you may be tempted to indulge in alcoholic beverages at your adults-only Halloween fest, remember to sip on plenty of water too. And avoid going to bed without brushing your teeth first.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Sometimes a hectic schedule can prevent oral care after eating, resulting in many people relying on chewing gum to help remove food debris and bacteria. Choose sugar-free gum to freshen your breath and reduce oral bacteria that cause cavities, thanks to the ingredient xylitol. Therefore, the next time you’re in a pinch and need to freshen your breath, remember the recommendation of a leading family dentist in Rancho Bernardo, Dr. Nicol Cook, to choose a sugar-free option.
Avoid Chewy and Sticky Candies
Chewy, sticky, and gummy candies and treats can leave gooey remnants in small tooth crevices where cavities often form. Therefore, Dr. Cook advises patients to choose hard candies, chocolate, or other treats that don’t stick to the teeth. If you must indulge in these treats, just be sure to limit the frequency in which you eat them and brush and floss your teeth afterward.
Boost Oral Hygiene
Your oral health depends on how often and how well you brush. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice and flossing once daily for good oral health and visiting a Rancho Bernardo dentist for checkups and cleanings twice per year. However, brushing after consuming sugar-filled treats or beverages reduces your chance of getting cavities.
Family Dentist in Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California
Halloween is a candy-filled experience that many families enjoy. If you consume any treats this Halloween, stick to our above tips to protect your teeth and gums. Feel free to call Smiles by Dr. Cook at (858) 673-0141 today or request an appointment online.