There’s nothing scarier to Dr. Ricardo Hernandez than a tooth-destroying cavity. Unfortunately, because of excessive candy consumption, Halloween is primetime for cavities. Dr. Hernandez has seen his office “haunted” around this time of year with patients needing dental treatment to restore the health and beauty of decayed teeth.
The good news is that you can still enjoy Halloween, as long as you are conscientious. To protect your smile’s health and appearance, try these tips from Dr. Hernandez:
Limit Candy Consumption
An estimated 90 percent of children go trick-or-treating on Halloween to collect teeth-destroying candy. Enjoy the candy haul in moderation and limit yourself and your children to one to two pieces a day (three at max). Plan your candy consumption around mealtimes; eat it during or right after a meal. Chewing during mealtimes stimulates the flow of saliva, which cancels out acids produced by bacteria and rinses away food particles so they don’t stick around.
Be Selective with Your Candy
Try to avoid hard, sticky or gummy candies, which stay in contact with your teeth longer than other candies (like chocolate).
Treat Dental Restorations with Care
If you have a filling or a crown, be extra cautious about sticky candies. It is common for caramels and gummy candies to pull fillings and dental restorations off, requiring emergency treatment. You wouldn’t want to spend Halloween in the dentist’s office, would you?
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar-free gum can help neutralize the effects of a sugary snack. Chewing gum triggers saliva, which has a rinsing effect on the teeth. Also, the sweetening agents in sugarless gum help fight dangerous acids and bacteria in plaque. Look for gum with the ADA seal of approval.
Up Your Water Intake
Avoid sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks and other sugary beverages and opt for more water instead. Fluoridated water is best, since it can help prevent tooth decay. If your tap water isn’t fluoridated, look for bottled water options.
Maintain Healthy Dental Habits
It is very important to maintain healthy oral hygiene habits around Halloween, to mitigate the chances of tooth decay and damage. Brush twice a day, floss once a day and double-check that you have scheduled your annual dental exam with Dr. Hernandez.
Contact Dr. Hernandez Today
If you have any alarming dental symptoms or notice a dental problem around Halloween, Dr. Hernandez is happy to treat it. Contact our office at 858-272-6047 to schedule an appointment with him today.