Your Family Dentist’s Tips for Cavity Prevention
Halloween and cavities often go hand in hand, which can pose a puzzle to parents; how do you let your children enjoy the treats and festivities of Halloween while simultaneously preventing the bombardment of candy from rotting their teeth? While candy and other sweets are notorious for facilitating cavity development, you don’t have to forbid your children from enjoying them to protect their smiles from decay. Rochester family dentist, Dr. Calcagno, advises practicing a bit of moderation, and an abundance of good dental hygiene, to allow your child to enjoy the best of both worlds.
In the minds of many children, a vital part of the excitement behind Halloween is the stockpile of candy that they can spend the winter enjoying. Another part is trying to gorge themselves on as much as candy as possible, as quickly as possible. While it may be tempting at times to bribe your children with sweets to encourage them to behave throughout the day, Dr. Calcagno advises against multiple and irregular treat times. Instead, set a certain time each day, preferably after the completion of chores or homework, to dish out some of their tasty stash. Adhering to the schedule will help curb children’s temptation throughout the rest of day, and will make maintaining good dental hygiene easier and more effective.
Practice Good Dental Hygiene
The secret weapon in candy and sweets is the sugar, which feeds certain oral bacteria that metabolize it into acid. Tooth enamel, the highly-mineralized layer of protection surrounding your teeth, becomes weak in the presence of bacteria-produced acid. In time, enamel may become too weak to repel the bacteria that infect the tooth’s main structure, leading to tooth decay and cavity formation. Poor oral hygiene can allow excessive amounts of bacteria to gather and form dental plaque, increasing the amount of acid produced. By ensuring that your child diligently brushes and flosses his/her teeth at least twice a day, and limiting the amount of snacks they consume, you can help minimize enamel erosion and the risk of cavities. Attending a dental checkup and cleaning at least every six months will significantly increase the chances of cavity detection and prevention.
About Dr. Calcagno:
Dr. Gilly Calcagno is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the American Dental Association, and the Minnesota Dental Association, and is active in local dental implant study clubs. To schedule a consultation, call Calcagno Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry today at (507) 281-3659.