Halloween is a wonderful holiday full of ghouls and ghosts, witches and warlocks, and tricks and TREATS, but you will be in for a real trick if you forgot to brush your teeth well after eating all of those treats this Halloween!
Bacteria in your mouth loves to feed of the sugar and carbohydrates in your mouth from foods like candy and soda to form plaque and create cavities, so in the wake of Halloween, here are some important reminders about how to prevent cavities from forming.
1. Practice Good Dental Hygiene
Brush and Floss regularly! Just like always, good dental hygiene is important for eliminating food particles and already formed plaque in your mouth. By reducing the food particles in your mouth, it reduces plaques and the likelihood of you forming a cavity.
2. Maintain a Healthy Diet
Since diet plays a role in your risk of forming a cavity, it is important to remain aware of you sugar and carbohydrate intake. Both sugar and carbohydrates fuel the bacteria that causes cavities to form. Foods that cling to you mouth for a long time such as gum, milk, cake, candy, honey, and chips also increase your risk for plaque build up. Frequent snacking can also be bad for your teeth, because it provides more food throughout the day to linger on your teeth.
Additionally, acidic foods wear down your tooth enamel making it easier for bacteria to get into your tooth cause a cavity to form. While it is okay on a day like Halloween to eat lots of sugar, carbohydrates, and acidic food, everyday cannot be Halloween. It is important to maintain a balanced and nutritious diet and avoid eating excessive amounts of these cavity causing foods.
3. Tooth Shape Matters
Another major cause of cavities is that tooth shape makes it more difficult to brush away food and bacteria. One common problem people have is brushing their back teeth, or molars and bicuspids, well due to the difficulty of reaching them. Be sure to take your time and ensure you brush all of your teeth, even in the hard to reach locations.
4. Stay Hydrated!
If you frequently find yourself having an overly dry mouth, you are not producing enough saliva. Saliva is important to your teeth because it helps to neutralize acids, as well as, rebuild tooth enamel worn away by acids. Dry mouth means no saliva and a reduced ability to prevent cavities. As a result, it is important to stay hydrated!
5. Take Your Fluoride
Fluoride is a key mineral that helps prevent and reverse tooth decay. You may simply know fluoride as something you do at the dentist, but many public water supplies will include fluoride in their water. Young children who do not have a public water supply and who have well water at home may have to take fluoride supplements as prescribed by a dentist as their teeth are developing.
Fluoride may be a naturally occurring mineral, however it is crucial that you make sure you are getting enough of it. Check and see if your toothpaste and mouth rinse include fluoride. It likely will. In general, just be sure that you are getting enough fluoride in your diet. If you are concerned about your fluoride intake, talk with your dentist.
We hope you had a spook-tacular Halloween, but we also hope you are brushing well and managing you diet. This way we can say all the tricks for next Halloween.