October is the start of fall and holiday season for many of our patients and can be full of fun activities and events. From costume parties, get-togethers, trick-or-treating, and parades, there is tons of fun to be had–but we also want you to be healthy and safe! This month we want to do our part in making sure you keep your smile cavity-free this October with our dental tips!
Do dentists hate candy? Of course not! In fact, studies show that over 76% of dental offices hand out candy every year during the month of October–but we also put a toothbrush and toothpaste in the bag! We know it is an uphill battle to tell our patients to not eat candy. However, as professionals in oral health we know that the October sugar rush can easily impact your oral health.
Is candy really that bad for your health? No, candy can be okay in moderation, but it can quickly become a sticky situation! The bacteria in your mouth love sweets as much as you and while you eat, they feed on the sugar in food and turn it into acid. Eating a lot of candy at once increases the amount of acid being made in your mouth, and this acid attacks and breaks down the protective enamel layer of your teeth raising your risk of tooth decay. The longer the sugar is in your mouth, the more acid is produced, and the longer your teeth are exposed the higher your chance of cavities!
Cavities that are left untreated can reach deep within the tooth, cause infection, and eventually kill your teeth. This will cause the infected tooth to rot, fall out, and often need to be removed to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria or infection.
This October, you might come across a lot of tempting treats, and here are a few tips to help have a healthy and happy fall.
If you have a lot of candy on your hands, sort it into two groups. One group should contain all the sticky, chewy, hard, and sour candies. Put everything else in the second group. The sticky, chewy, hard, and sour candies will lead to more acidity in your mouth if you eat a lot of them at once. Be sure to balance it out and choose your candy wisely.
Candy is safe when eaten in moderation. Limit yourself to 8-10 small pieces a sitting and keep the wrappers in front of you so you know how many you’ve had. We recommend eating candy after a full meal or as an afternoon snack so you aren’t filling up sugar. Always follow your candy time with a glass of water to rinse away excess sugar.
After eating all those sweets, don’t forget to brush your teeth. If you can’t brush, make sure to drink plenty of water. Once you are home though, brush for at least two minutes with ADA-approved toothpaste. Floss between your teeth in hard-to-reach places to make sure there is no candy or food stuck anywhere.
With the holidays approaching, we hope these tips keep you cavity-free this October. Finish the year off right by contacting our office to learn how to stay cavity clear or to schedule your next appointment. Happy Fall from Mark Fried, DMD!