October in Hendricks County signifies fall festivals, Halloween parties, trunk-or-treating events and – of course – trick-or-treating for the kids. However, this means you and your children will be eating sweets, sweets and more sweets throughout the month and well into November.
While it’s fun to have an occasional treat now and then, too many treats can play a trick on you and your kids in the form of cavities and tooth decay. Bacteria found in plaque, the sticky film that accumulates on your teeth, love to feed on the sugars found in candy and sweets. This bacteria, if left unchecked, multiplies and produces acid that eats away the surfaces of the teeth, causing tooth decay.
Here are some suggestions to help you and your children’s teeth stay healthy before, during and after these fall and Halloween events.
- Get dental sealants. Visit Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County this month to have dental sealants, a plastic coating, applied to the grooves of your children’s teeth and the hard-to-reach surfaces of their molars. Dental sealants seal out the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Buy candy you and your kids don’t like. Everyone will be less likely to finish off what’s left after Halloween.
- Give out healthy treats or sugar-free candy. Healthy snacks, like fruit, pretzels and unbuttered popcorn, have less sugar that sticks to the teeth. Sugar-free candy is made with Xylitol, a low-calorie sweetener that helps reduce cavities and prevent tooth decay.
- Avoid sticky candy. Caramels, gummy bears and Tootsie Rolls can adhere to the teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
- Avoid hard candy. When you bite down on it the wrong way, you can break a tooth. Plus, sucking on hard candy exposes the teeth to sugars that bacteria thrive on for a longer time period.
- Limit the amount of candy eaten each day to 1-2 pieces. Eat the allotted amount of candy in place of dessert. Then brush and floss immediately after eating.
- Drink plenty of water. Fluoridated water helps wash away the acids in the mouth and protects against tooth decay.
- Practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, but especially after eating sweets. Floss your teeth at least once day. Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouth rinse 3-4 times to wash away acids.
We want you and your children to enjoy the Halloween festivities this month. But by following these suggestions, you can hopefully help keep tooth decay from haunting you and your children long after Halloween.
And remember to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning in November with Danville Family Dentistry in Hendricks County to help keep the teeth of every member of the family healthy.