It’s that time of year again when our kids get all kinds of free goodies that cause them to jump off of walls and cause them to lose their appetites for “real food.” Yes Halloween is here and the scariest thing about it is the candy consumption and the effects it can have on teeth. Dr. Wiesse and Beautiful Westchester Smiles want our patients to be aware of the dangers of sugary foods like candy and how you can prevent them from decaying your teeth. First, a little background on tooth decay and cavities.
Most candies contain sugars and these sugars can contribute to the amount of plaque that accumulates on your teeth. The accumulation of plaque consists of bacteria that stick themselves to the tooth’s surface and make them difficult to clean off with saliva. The result is the plaque that is not washed away produces acid that eats up sugar. Because the sugar is on the teeth the acid attacks the tooth’s protective layer and causes it to break down.
The protective layer of teeth is called enamel and this is the hard, white layer on our teeth that contains minerals such as calcium. If this enamel is attacked by acid it can result in the enamel becoming porous and result in the appearance of tiny holes in the teeth. Eventually these holes can become bigger and result in a bigger hole, or cavity.
To prevent cavities such as the ones caused by sugar attacks on our teeth parents should help their children to maintain good oral hygiene, especially around Halloween. By brushing and flossing routinely we can offset some of the effects of plaque buildup as brushing and flossing work to clean bacteria causing debris off of our teeth. If you have not been to the dentist recently consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Wiesse for an oral health exam and to help you maintain a healthy smile.