Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
This year has looked quite different than ever before. In the age of social distancing, we are left wondering what the holidays will be like. Whether you spend time at home with your family or with close friends, one thing will probably remain the same – the food. Candy, cookies, and desserts are often the center of every holiday celebration, beginning with Halloween. While avoiding sweets is probably not likely for most people, it is essential that you protect your teeth and gums. This year, our Erie family dentist at Laser Dentistry of Erie shares some tricks to protect your oral health.
Not all candies and sweets are created equal. Believe it or not, but certain candy options are better than others. Sticky, gooey candies like caramel, taffy, and tootsie rolls are the worst choices because they stick to your teeth, lingering in the tiny crevices of your molars. Unless you brush your teeth shortly after consumption, it means that sugar is stuck on your teeth for hours. Sour candies are just as bad. It’s highly acidic, which weakens tooth enamel, making you susceptible to cavities and tooth sensitivity.
When it comes to eating sweets, timing is everything. Rather than snacking on bits and pieces throughout the day, designate a time to enjoy your candy stash. That way, you expose your teeth to sugar just once, instead of bathing your teeth in sugary substances throughout the entire day. It’s a good idea to brush your teeth afterward. Although if you can’t, at least swish your mouth out with water to help rinse away any lingering sugar.
Get a Fluoride Treatment
Kids, especially, benefit from fluoride treatments. This invisible varnish can easily be applied at our family dental office in Erie. It provides an extra barrier against the threat of cavities. However, daily brushing and flossing are still necessary. Adults may also benefit from fluoride applications. This treatment is usually done during six-month cleanings and exams, although you can schedule an appointment anytime if you or your child has not received a fluoride treatment this year.
Brush and Floss
Your best defense against the threat of tooth decay still remains – brush and floss daily. The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth two times a day for at least two minutes. Ideally, you’d brush after each meal, although brushing every morning and before bed is reasonable. If you find that you’re susceptible to developing cavities, you may want to work in that mid-day brushing. And, of course, let’s not forget about daily flossing – the equivalent to brushing between your teeth. Skip this step, and it’s as if you only brushed two-thirds of your tooth’s surfaces.
Signs that you may have a cavity
If you’re sticking to your six-month cleanings and exams, cavities should be caught in their earliest stage. However, if you’ve missed an appointment or two or it’s been a while since your last visit, you should know the signs of a cavity, which include:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Darkened or discolored spot on a tooth
- Persistent bad breath
- Broken tooth
Tooth decay should be addressed as soon as it is discovered because it will worsen over time.
Family Dentists in Erie, Millcreek, and Harborcreek
We are nearing the end of the year, which means it is the perfect time to maximize your dental insurance benefits before they expire. Unused portions could be applied toward a routine dental cleaning and exam. Plus, getting your checkup in now means you can hopefully avoid a dental emergency during the holidays. To learn more about protecting your oral health this Halloween or to schedule an appointment, please call Laser Dentistry of Erie at (814) 825-2615.