Halloween has its many attributes: creative costumes, extreme candy consumption, and the time of year that’s arguably a dentist’s worst nightmare. As much as everyone loves candy, it’s a well-known fact that overconsuming sugar, especially in the form of sticky candies like toffee, wreaks havoc on your teeth. There’s a strong connection between your dental and physical health markers. While it may be unreasonable to expect no candy consumption this Halloween, there are ways to protect your oral health from any potential damage.
A simple and effective way to keep your teeth and gums healthy this Halloween is to maintain a consistent brushing schedule. This means brushing your teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and evening. For extra protection, you can brush right after having some candy. Plaque and tartar occur because of buildup that remains on the teeth. Left untreated, residual plaque can lead to gingivitis and other issues.
Don’t Forget Floss
If brushing is basic dental hygiene, flossing takes it one step further. Sometimes bits of food (or candy!) can stick to areas around the teeth, even after a proper brushing. This is where floss comes in. Make it a habit to floss regularly, focusing on places a toothbrush might not reach, like the molars or behind any orthodontic work. For best results, floss every time you brush, so at least twice a day. The combination of brushing and flossing works best to get rid of any leftover food. For easy access, bring some floss with you throughout the day.
Wash It Away with Water
Water intake is important for overall health, but it’s also a good thing for your mouth. If you don’t have access to a toothbrush after you eat a piece of candy, drink some water. Although it’s still important to brush and floss when you get a chance, water can help remove some of the candy that may stick to the surface of your teeth.
Know the Signs of Tooth Decay
What happens if you brush and floss regularly but think you might have developed some early stages of tooth decay? The more you understand the symptoms of a potential problem, the faster you will be able to treat it. Watch out for these some common early signs and symptoms of tooth decay:
- Tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot or cold drinks
- Bleeding during brushing
- Pain when biting something
- New onset toothache or pain
If any of these are present, come see us.
Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your teeth. Follow these tips and enjoy a healthy smile now and in the future.
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Due for an annual cleaning or have some concerns about your dental health? Contact us today to book your appointment.