In a perfect world, you would be able to resist the temptation of all that candy that tends to appear around Halloween. Unfortunately, it is really hard to say “no” to those sweet treats and you typically end up eating way more than normal which puts you at risk of developing cavities. Luckily, there are things you can do to prevent cavities from forming.
Use these preventative tips to help you reduce your risk of developing cavities and other dental problems associated with tooth decay while allowing you to enjoy eating some of that Halloween candy.
Drink Plenty of Water
Making sure you drink plenty of water on a daily basis is vital to helping you with the fight against cavities. Water helps prevent cavities in two ways: by increasing your saliva production and cleaning your mouth.
Lack of proper saliva production causes a condition known as dry mouth. People who suffer from dry mouth have a high risk of developing tooth decay and other dental problems such as gingivitis. These problems occur more in people with dry mouth because harmful bacteria tend to grow and spread faster in the drier conditions.
Increasing your water consumption may help to prevent dry mouth. The more water you drink, the more saliva you produce which reduces your risk of having harmful bacteria spreading throughout your mouth and causing tooth decay, cavities, and other dental problems.
While it isn’t the same as brushing and flossing, drinking water will also reduce your risk of developing cavities by helping to clean your mouth. When you drink water it can remove some of the sugars, acids, and food particles from your mouth that are known to cause cavities.
Make an Effort to Limit the Amount of Candy You Consume
It will be hard, but make a real effort to limit the amount of candy you consume. This allows you to avoid cavities while making your candy last longer.
There is no set amount of how much candy you should or should not consume as every person is different. Try to assess your needs and determine how much allows you to satisfy your candy craving without putting your oral health at risk.
Choose Your Candy Wisely
Not all candy is as dangerous as others. Some candies have higher sugar or acid content which can cause you to be at a higher risk of getting cavities.
Avoid the possibility of developing cavities by choosing the candy that you eat wisely. Try to avoid eating candy that is made purely of sugar, such as candy corn, and sour candies as those are the ones that will quickly wear away the enamel of your teeth.
If you do wish to eat candy but don’t want to increase your risk of developing cavities, try to stick to stuff like chocolate or sugar-free candies.
Chew on Sugar-Free Gum that Contains Xylitol
It might seem odd that while we are telling you to avoid candy, we are also encouraging you to chew on gum, but it does help fight cavities. Chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol will increase your saliva production which helps keep your mouth clean, removes food particles from around your teeth, and prevents harmful bacteria from spreading.
Always Brush Your Teeth After Eating Candy
The best way to prevent cavities is by brushing your teeth after eating any type of candy. It is recommended that you try and wait approximately 20 minutes after eating any type of candy to brush your teeth. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating the candy, you could spread the acids and sugars around your mouth instead of cleaning them up. Waiting 20 minutes will allow the sugars and acids to settle so you can properly remove them.
Schedule an Appointment for a Professional Cleaning
Even if you follow all these steps it is important that you make sure you follow up with your dentist and schedule a professional cleaning. Professional dental cleanings can remove plaque and tartar that your toothbrush left behind. This is especially important around this time of the year as you eat large amounts of candy.
Need to schedule a professional cleaning? Call Smiles by Shields to schedule an appointment for a routine examination and cleaning.