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It’s October and you know what that means, Halloween is right around the corner. The stockpiles of Halloween candy have been slowly building at local grocery stores since August, which kickoff a holiday season full of sweet treats until 2018.
We know sugar is bad for our teeth, but it can be hard to keep oral care top-of-mind in life’s sweetest moments. And whether it’s holiday season or not, here are three tips that will keep your smile shining and your dentist proud well into the new year.
1. Adopt Good Dental Habits.
When life gets busy, sometimes we can fall out of healthy habits. Many common dental problems can be prevented through daily oral hygiene, regular dental check-ups and a healthy lifestyle. To keep your teeth and gums clean between visits to the dentist The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Oral Health recommends gently brushing your teeth at least twice a day, with special attention to the gum line. This, and flossing at least once a day, helps to rid your mouth of lingering food and bacteria.
2. Snack Healthy. Leftover Halloween candy can linger around the house long past October 31, but limit how many sweet treats you eat. Chewy treats and hard candy stay in the mouth longer than most foods, allowing cavity-causing bacteria to thrive and create plaque. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps to stimulate the flow of saliva, which demineralizes tooth surfaces and wards off tooth decay.
3. Protect Sensitive Teeth.
As the weather turns colder, it can be nice to indulge in a cup of cocoa, but beverages can cause discomfort. Tooth sensitivity is a fairly common problem triggered by hot or cold foods and drinks, or even by breathing cold air. It’s caused by exposed dentin, the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth. Maintaining proper oral hygiene habits, avoiding highly acidic foods and beverages, and easing up on whitening toothpastes and bleaching treatments can help limit sensitivity. Visit your dentist if sensitivity persists.