It’s that time of year again, when our Lincroft, NJ neighbors carve their jack-o’-lanterns, put the final touches on their Halloween costumes, and put out the remaining fall decorations. It’s also the time of year that candy and goodies abound! Here at Newman Springs Dental Care, we enjoy sweets probably as much as you do, but we also know that tooth decay is a real consequence of a sweet tooth.
Today, we want to give you four tips on how to reduce your family’s risk for cavities – and you can still enjoy those M&Ms or a peanut butter cup!
1. Limit Sweets
If your kids are going trick-or-treating this year or participating in another fall event, chances are they’ll come back with enough candy to last months. But like other kids, yours will probably snack on several pieces a day for a while. You might even be planning to sneak a few visits to their Halloween candy bag, too, or maybe you’ve been snacking on the leftovers from the candy bowl.
We certainly won’t tell you or your kids to ditch the candy, but it’s important to limit the candy to a couple pieces a day. As you may know, bacteria feed off sugars left on your teeth by sweets and can easily lead to tooth decay. Keep track of what you’ve eaten, and consider keeping your kids’ candy bags and setting a daily limit on how many pieces they can ask for.
If you or your kids attend a Halloween party, watch out for all the soda, punch, candy apples, and popcorn balls, too! You probably won’t have a toothbrush on you, so make sure to drink water after indulging to help rinse the sugar off your teeth.
2. Brush and Floss Daily
After consuming all that sugar, brushing at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day is even more vital to your oral health. Encourage your kids to brush after eating candy, and make sure they floss at night before bedtime. Ask your Lincroft dentist if your kids could benefit from a fluoride rinse, too.
3. Attend Regular Dental Exams and Dental Cleanings
Dr. Friedman, Dr. Cintron, and Dr. Menon all recommend that your family comes to our dental office at least twice a year for dental exams and dental cleanings. This preventive dentistry visit gives us the chance to get off that plaque and tartar buildup that contributes to tooth decay. Even if you brush and floss like you’re supposed to, you can never reach all the nooks and crannies. If you haven’t been for a regular dental checkup in a while or are due for one now, schedule one with us today.
And make sure to get your kids in, too – they tend to eat more sweets, don’t brush as well, and are at higher risk for cavities. We love to take care of entire families’ smiles!
I Think I Already Have Tooth Decay – What Now?
Maybe you or your kids have major sweet tooths, or maybe you haven’t been as proactive about your oral health at home or at our office as you should be. Although many people don’t have any symptoms of tooth decay, you might have noticed:
- A toothache
- Sensitivity to hot or cold foods or drinks
- Bad breath that won’t go away
- Swelling in your gums near a tooth
- A discolored tooth
If you notice any of these or are long overdue for a dental cleaning, have no fear – we’re here to help! Call our Lincroft dentists today to set up an appointment. If you have tooth decay, we may recommend the following restorative treatments depending on the severity:
- Dental filling
- Dental crown
- Root canal