Here’s how you can help your family stay ‘MouthHealthy’ on Halloween and year-round.
Time It Right
Eat Halloween sweets (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sweet Snacks
Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and it’s double the trouble if you keep grabbing sugary treats from the candy bowl. Snacking on candy throughout the day is not ideal for your dental health or diet,.
Choose Sweets Carefully
Make sure your sweets are sugar free.
Avoid hard sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky sweets cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Have a Plan
It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. ‘Have your family pick their favourites and donate the rest.’
Drink More Water
Drink water, avoid a dry mouth this can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are sugar free. Even sugar free ‘diet’ fizzy drinks may be acidic which cause harm to your teeth
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Your body is like a complex machine.The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes fizzy drinks, sports drinks and flavoured water.When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
Chew sugar free chewing gum
Chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralise the acid produced by bacteria.
Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride containing toothpaste. Change your tooth brush 8- 10 weeks , or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
Clean Between Your Teeth
Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
The regular advice and care you will receive from your dentist and the whole team will help you to stay healthy.
Acknowledgements to the American Dental Association
Most people are aware of the dental perils of sugary soft drinks and fruit juices, but surely sparkling water is perfectly safe for your teeth, right? After all, dentists often recommend water as an alternative to sodas and sports drinks. It might surprise you to learn that it’s not quite so straightforward.
Soft drinks can be bad for your teeth because they tend to be loaded with sugar or non-sugar sweetener alternatives that feeds harmful oral bacteria, resulting in the creation of enamel-attacking acids. As the protective enamel layer is stripped away, it leaves the teeth exposed to infection and decay.
It is not just the sugar in soft drinks that threatens tooth health. It’s all the fizz.
Carbonated beverages get their fizz from carbon dioxide, which is converted to carbonic acid in the mouth. This acid has the potential to cause erosion of dental enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay.
One of the warning signs of enamel erosion in increased tooth sensitivity with exposure to hot or cold foods/drinks. Yellowing of the teeth may also signal enamel erosion as the white, shiny enamel gives way to the darker, yellower dentine underneath.
Keeping Things in Perspective
Now before you start panicking and give up Perrier and Pellegrino forever, it’s important to note that even though sparkling waters can alter the acidic balance in the mouth, it pales in comparison to the sort of acidic damage that occurs with the likes of sodas, fruit juices and other sugary or sweetened beverages. That said, if sparkling water is your drink of choice and you’re sipping it throughout the day, it could accelerate tooth wear. Especially if you like the flavoured sparkling waters, or enjoy a slice of lemon or lime. The addition of any such flavourings or fruit increases the acidity of the beverage.
Generally speaking, unflavoured sparkling water is considered fine for your teeth – in moderation! .A study found that both types of water were more or less the same in their effects on enamel, noting that sparkling water is slightly more acidic. So, all things in moderation – if you don’t overdo it with sparkling water, your teeth should be fine
- Be sure to mix in plenty of fluoridated plain water along with sparkling water to help naturally fight cavities and maintain the healthy pH balance in the mouth.
- Be mindful of the fact that all sparkling waters are not created equal. For example, citrus-flavoured waters increases the acidity levels of the beverage, increasing the risk for enamel erosion.
- Watch out for sparkling water which have sugar in them. Flavoured waters with sugar can be as bad as other sugar-laden drinks, so if you enjoy sparkling water, make sure you’re enjoying the real deal.
The team at the Harrow Dental Centre will be happy help if you have any concerns.