October 28th, 2013
Happy Halloween! I'm definitely not one of those dentists who will tell you to never eat candy. Have fun, keep it reasonable, and consider brushing twice on Thursday night so you're not haunted by cavities like Jack O'Lantern* here :-O
Cavities, while frightening, don't happen mysteriously over night from eating a lot of sugar. Prolonged and routine exposure to sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce acid that rots (demineralizes) your teeth over time and even entrench themselves further by building up a sticky film to live in - plaque. Plaque calcifies or hardens into tartar over time, making a fortress for those bacteria!
It's deviously simple, what these bacteria do. YOU feed THEM every time you eat, especially when you eat simple sugars. And if you let them live unhindered in the nooks and crannies of your mouth, tooth decay is the predictable outcome.
Common sense steps for those worried about tooth decay include 2-3 times daily brushing (ideally with a fluoride toothpaste, but the most important thing is breaking up the bioflim), once daily flossing, and limiting frequency of snacking.
With snacking, as far as your teeth are concerned, more important than the amount of sugar you ingest is how often sugar is washing over colonies of hungry bacteria. The same Coca-Cola sipped every 10 minutes all day long is MUCH more destructive to your teeth than drinking the entire can all in one sitting (consider not doing that either, though, if you are worried about your health).
If you'd like to know more, give us a call: 360-459-1600. We'd love to have a personal discussion and provide you with a thorough dental screening (usually covered by insurance or just $19 including x-rays for new patients).
*yes this is/was my pumpkin this year!