Have you ever looked at a jack-o-lantern and wondered why the smile was missing so many teeth? As a San Mateo dentist focused on preserving smiles, we like to think it serves as a reminder to brush and floss your teeth. The truth is, the jack-o-lantern has a varied past and many folklore tales behind it as to its creation. In general, the jack-o-lantern was a way to scare away spirits from the home with their spooky expressions. This Halloween, we want to make sure our patients don’t rot their teeth with too much candy. We don’t want to see your smile on a pumpkin! So let’s look at ways to protect your teeth and smile not only for Halloween, but all year long.
Dental sealants are made up of a plastic-like coating that gets painted on teeth. The substance, in liquid form, gets into the small nooks that are located on the surfaces of our teeth. Once applied, it is hardened using a special light source. Our San Mateo dentist usually recommends that sealants be applied to permanent teeth as soon as they erupt; specifically, the permanent back molars. Molars have many hard to clean areas and as they erupt (between ages 6 and 12), it can be difficult to keep them free of decay.
Treat Yourself, Don’t Trick
Treat yourself to a sweet once in a while, but don’t fool yourself into the needs for treats all of the time. Snacking on candy throughout the day means the sugar is stuck to your teeth, eating away at your enamel. For times when you indulge yourself with a bit of chocolate, drink lots of water and brush your teeth after eating. The ADA recommends brushing two times a day in order to keep teeth clean. Constant snacking negates the cleaning effort and puts you at risk for developing cavities.
If you are going to have a piece of candy, choose wisely. Eat it after you’ve eaten a nutritious meal and limit yourself or your children to one or two small pieces. Then, make sure to brush your teeth. It is also important to select candy that isn’t harmful to you. If you wear braces, stay away from caramels, taffy, and hard candy that can bend wires or break brackets. If you have any dental work, avoid sticky candies that cause damage. Even hard candies can break your sealants, so talk to our San Mateo dentist team about our recommendations and what to avoid.
Halloween is a lot of fun, but it can be haunting as well as tiny ghouls in the form of tooth decay create a whole mess of problems. Keep your mouth healthy this year by practicing great oral hygiene and by visiting our San Mateo dentist office if you think you need sealants. For other tips and hygiene topics, visit us on Facebook. Happy Halloween!
In need of immediate care?
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