Damage Control for Halloween Candy

This is about what we all consume in spite of what we know to be a healthy lifestyle

Let’s face reality.  We all love candy! We all eat candy.  I know that most of the candy given to kids for trick or treat is consumed by the adults that have the control over that loot. That being said, I want to explore an option on how to consume the stuff without major damage to those pearly whites.

How Do Dental Cavities Form?

shutterstock_128574920A basic knowledge of how a cavity develops is needed.  There are four components to any cavity:  Sugar, bacteria (plaque), time, and of course a tooth. Bacteria turns sugar to acid and it is that acid that will eventually eat away the tooth. Take away any one of those necessary components and you are safe.  For the sake of this discussion, we will keep the tooth and the sugar in the picture and look at damage control by changing the other two components, time and bacteria.

The Bacteria in Your Mouth is Interesting

Let’s start with bacteria.  It is everywhere. Even after brushing, your mouth has more bacteria than a public toilet.  Damage control is focused at lowering that bacteria count where it matters.  Just where is that?  We all know we need to brush our teeth to remove the plaque, but concentrate on the hard to reach areas where plaque likes to hang out.  Gum line areas are commonly missed by the best of tooth brushes.  Bristles will jump right over the base of the tooth if you don’t concentrate on where you are brushing.  Don’t forget to clean the tooth surfaces between teeth.  Thirty-five percent of the tooth’s surface can’t be reached by a brush no matter how hard or long you scrub.  Get something to clean between the teeth.  You know floss is one of those things, but there are other options if you find that difficult. Try an Air Flosser, a Waterpik, or little brushes made for cleaning between teeth.  If you don’t want a cavity between your teeth then clean the gunk off of the entire tooth surface- simple deduction.

Acid Overload

HalloweenMouth

Now the last variable in damage control is time.  How long is the sugar on the tooth?  Do you eat a piece of candy here and there throughout the day  in an attempt to keep the amount under control?  Perhaps you dole out the sugar to the kids the same way to avoid having your kids hanging from the chandelier from the sugar rush.  It takes your mouth 15-20 minutes to clear the sugar each time you take a bite (or a sip of soda or juice!).  That is a long time and bacteria are very good at using that time to produce that dreaded acid which in turn eats away at your beautiful smile.

Damage control is focused on lowering the amount of time the teeth are exposed to the sugar (acid).  So gather the kids and the candy and let’s EAT!  Consume as much as you want in ten minutes.  Wash it down with a gallon of juice or the poison of Mountain Dew. Your mouth is already an acid dump so why not go crazy.  When ten minutes are up, you are done.  Get some water and rinse your mouth. Set a timer for fifteen minutes and let your mouth begin to come back to normal. Research has shown that immediately brushing your teeth after an acid overload can do more damage to your enamel, so it is important to wait a SHORT while.  Just don’t forget to BRUSH your teeth to get the residual junk out of there.

Remember, this is damage control for your teeth.  Your blood sugar and other body functions are not considered here.  This is about what we all consume in spite of what we know to be a healthy lifestyle.

LET’S EAT RESPONSIBLY.

 
dr_stumpfJanelle Ferber-Stumpf D.D.S.
Making smiles beautiful since 1983
N28 W23000 Roundy Drive
Pewaukee, Wi   53072
262-970-0111
BestCareInTheChair.com
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