It’s almost Halloween…time for your dentist to weigh in!

unknownYes, you’ve heard it all before: watch those sugary treats your children gorge on every Halloween, and all the other caveats that come around this time of year. But as a dentist for more than 30 years, I cannot help but use this opportunity to remind parents, grandparents and caregivers of the top 10 tips from the American Dental Association .  It’s our chance to weigh in with our expertise. We want you to have fun and to enjoy the occasion, but please be mindful of the following to protect your children’s healthy smiles:

Time It Right

Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

Choose Candy Carefully

imagesAvoid hard candy and other 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 candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.

Drink More Water

Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.

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 soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.

Chew Gum with the ADA Seal

Chew sugarless gum, preferably with the ADA seal, for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.

Brush Twice a Day

Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, 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.

Visit Our Office

 Regular visits to our office can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”

As always, please call us with any questions or concerns. We love your feedback, so feel free to send your comments our way.

images-1

Happy Halloween!

All the best,

Dr. Jim

 

 

Advertisements

Trick or Treat?

Halloween is just around the corner and on the night of All Hallow’s Eve it’s hard to resist the temptation of all that candy.  Especially, for young children who look forward to the one day a year where they can indulge a little in their favorite sweet treat.  Being dentists (and always wanting what’s best for the health of your teeth), we’ve compiled a few healthier recipes for you to offer instead.  These easy to make treats (provided by Goop) will allow kids to satiate their sweet tooth and still have a happy Halloween.

Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients:

3/4 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup raw cashews

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup chocolate chips (semi sweet chocolate or vegan)

Preparation:

Grind the oats and nuts in a food processor for 1 minute.  Then add the honey, vanilla, coconut oil, and chocolate chips.  Using a 1 teaspoon measure, roll into balls.  These will be ready to serve and are easy to make the day of Halloween.

***

Homemade Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

3 cups washed, stemmed

strawberries

1 tablespoon honey

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 250°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the strawberries and honey in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into a large rectangle with the back of a spoon or spatula.

Bake for 2 to 3 hours, until the fruit leather is dry and not sticky to the touch.

Allow the fruit leather to sit and cool to room temperature. It takes several hours for the fruit to soften up; when you first take the leather out of the oven the edges will be a bit dry and crisp, but if you allow it to sit overnight it softens up nicely.

Use a knife, pizza cutter, or kitchen shears to cut the fruit leather into 8 long strips, keeping the paper on the back. Roll the leather into “roll-ups.”

***

Although these recipes are healthier options, they still contain sugar so make sure that your children brush and floss their teeth after eating.  If your kids do eat other candies on Halloween, try to steer them away from hard, gummy or sticky candies.

Lollipops, caramel-centered chocolates and gummy bears are among the worst.  These candies can actually break teeth or get stuck between teeth and since they are harder to chew, the sugar has a longer time to absorb into the gums.  This can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

Mitchell Dentistry hopes that you have a fun-filled holiday with ghouls and guffaws, but use discretion when indulging on sweets.  Happy Halloween everyone!