With Halloween right around the corner, you have probably already begun your prep. Costumes must be secured, cameras must be charged, and, of course, buckets of candy must be readied. In all your excitement to enjoy the holiday with your family, though, it’s still very important that you take great care of your teeth. Preventing cavities means exercising great dental hygiene, and showing some restraint where sugar is concerned. But when preventive care isn’t enough, you also need to seek treatment quickly, like a filling, if you do develop a cavity, so that you can protect your smile from further damage. It’s okay to enjoy some treats, now and then. But if you want to maintain a healthy smile this season and moving forward, it’s important to understand the ways cavities form, how to prevent them, and how to treat them!
Cavities Are Caused By Acidity
Every mouth is filled with bacteria, some of which can be harmful to your smile. Plaque bacteria is a form of bacteria that tends to build up between teeth and along the gumlines, and once it has calcified onto the teeth it can only be removed through a professional cleaning. The problem with plaque is that it can create an acidic environment which leads to decay. When this decay occurs, it begins to erode the enamel of your teeth. This is called a cavity, and it can cause sensitivity and even pain.
The reason sugar is closely linked to cavities is because plaque bacteria feed on sugar. When your diet is high in sugar, you’re at a much higher risk of plaque development. While heredity and other lifestyle factors can also affect your likeliness to suffer from cavities, limiting sugar is one of the best ways to prevent them.
Practical Ways to Protect Your Smile
Of course, not everyone is going to give up sugar altogether, all the time. That’s why most dentists offer practical solutions for helping enjoy the occasional sweet treat while still protecting your smile.
- Don’t eat sugar all the time, and be especially careful about drinking sugary drinks (like sodas, and even many juices) as the slower you drink the more time the substance spends on your teeth.
- Don’t skip brushing or flossing. Doing both each day helps remove food particles and bacteria, and limits plaques ability to calcify.
- Drink plenty of water, as it helps produce saliva, which naturally fights plaque. If you notice you have a dry mouth, frequently, in spite of drinking ample water, you should consult your dentist.