Although we may not want to believe it, another summer has come and gone. We are mere weeks away from Halloween and, if you’re a parent, you’re likely being inundated on a daily basis with requests for Halloween costumes and plans for trick-or-treating. And if your kid is like most, then brushing and flossing is likely no match for the targeted treats and sweets on Halloween. After all, healthy dental habits aren’t nearly as fun to think about as the confection free for all celebrated every October 31. What most of you might not realize is that the sugar monster is already upon us. And in this case, it’s the adults who should be worried. Have no idea what I’m talking about… two words: pumpkin spice. That’s right. It’s that time of year when every coffee magnet, bakery, and farmer’s market promotes all things pumpkin.
If you look forward to the fall season so that you can sip on your pumpkin spice latte…take heed and keep that toothbrush handy, along with the number to your local dentist.
Slow Down When it Comes to Sugar
When it comes to sugar, a sparing approach is best. Not only is sugar cited as the caloric cause of weight gain, which can compromise your overall health, it also wreaks havoc on your dental health. And what’s worse is that sugar is sneaky. Often, even those of us with the best of intentions, don’t realize how much sugar we are ingesting when we enjoy a particular snack or beverage. Here’s what happens…When sugar enters your mouth, the bacteria in your mouth immediately set to work turning the sugar into an acid. That acid, which can easily nestle in between your teeth (hello, floss!) and around your gumline, will erode the surface of your teeth – the enamel – eventually creating a small hole. This small hole, which can grow if left untreated, is what we know as a cavity.
For those of you who have had a cavity in the past likely remember it as a rather painful experience. Often, that pain is the only indicator that you have a cavity and is the result of the nerves deep within a tooth being exposed by the hole made by the acid. A tooth with a cavity might feel sore, sensitive to hot or cold beverages and foods, with the surrounding tissue swollen or inflamed. In other words, not fun. Cavities will not fill themselves or disappear over time. They must be treated by a dentist and you can then prevent them from developing in the future by maintaining healthy dental habits, like brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and especially after any sugary indulgence. In addition to that, keep up with teeth cleanings, which should be scheduled every six months.
Skipping sugar altogether might be hard, but cutting back is key to supporting your best oral health. In fact, the World Health Organization has determined that lowering your sugar intake is the most important step you can take to avoid oral disease.
Standing by to support your optimal oral health, the expert team at Diamond Dental is ready to take your call at #781-338-0818.