Sacramento, Calif. (PRWEB) October 25, 2012
Halloween is here, and for most children that means dressing up and collecting bags full of chocolate, sweets and snacks. But parents don’t have to be spooked by this candy-driven holiday. Instead, use Halloween to teach children good oral hygiene habits to protect their teeth all year long.
“Cavities are caused by certain types of bacteria that live in the mouth. Bacteria stick to the film on the teeth called plaque, and feed on what you eat, especially sugars,” explained CDA President-Elect Lindsey Robinson, DDS. “It’s important to maintain a daily oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, especially after consuming sugary treats.”
Some treats are more terrifying for teeth than others. Chewy candies like caramel, gummies and taffy stick to teeth longer than something like chocolate, which can easily be washed away by saliva or rinsing with water.
Hard or sticky candies stay in the mouth longer, giving bacteria more time to create acid that weakens tooth enamel and causes cavities. CDA encourages children and adults to limit these types of treats and always remember to brush afterward.
Also, beware of spooky sour candies, they have high levels of acid that can wear down tooth enamel. If consuming sour candies, neutralize the acids afterward by eating cheese or drinking milk and wait at least 60 minutes before brushing as the sour candy’s acid can soften enamel, making it more susceptible to erosion.
“It is also helpful to enjoy Halloween candy and other sugar-filled foods with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralize the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth,” said Robinson. “The increased saliva flow also helps rinse away food particles.”
Most importantly, protect teeth throughout the year — brush with fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, avoid sugary drinks like soda, and visit a dentist for a complete dental check-up on a regular basis.
For more oral health tips, visit cda.org.
About the California Dental Association
The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA is committed to the success of our members in service to their patients and the public. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA’s membership consists of more than 25,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit cda.org.
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