Healthy Teeth Hacks for Halloween

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Are you concerned about keeping yourself and your children happy and healthy this Halloween? With walls of candy lining every store and the chance for kids to bring home mounds of free candy, we understand your concern.  But don’t fret, because all you need is a plan. A Sun City West dentist put together this list of tips to help you have a healthy Halloween.

Eat Candy with Meals

Eating your candy with meals can help reduce the risk of tooth decay. The nutrients from your food will help to balance the acid levels in your mouth from the sugary candy. Chewing also produces saliva, which will help to move the candy and sugar particles from your mouth quicker.

Avoid Sweet Snacks

Candy is everywhere right now, but try to keep it as a treat to have with meals. Don’t substitute healthy snacks for candy. Snacking on candy will only increase your risk of getting cavities. Keep snacking to the healthy choices, like fruits and veggies.

Choose Candy Wisely

Some candies are much stickier than others, like taffy and caramels. These will stay on your teeth much longer than other candies, increasing your risk for tooth decay. Another choice you might want to make with candy is the calorie intake. Choose candies with lower calories, and stick to fun-sized versus full candy bars.

Limit Your Stash

Don’t stock up on your Halloween candy early. It will be a constant temptation, especially if it’s a candy you enjoy. Limit the amount of candy you keep in your home to avoid this temptation of snacking on candy. When your kids bring home their bags of candy on Halloween, have them pick their favorites and get rid of the rest by donating it or saving it for food storage or a 72-hour kit.

Drink Water

Drinking water is so important, not only to maintain every healthy bodily function but to help prevent cavities too. Drink water, especially after consuming a sugary treat to help rinse the sugar off your teeth. When you send your children trick-or-treating, send them with a water bottle to help keep them hydrated and to drink after eating their candy early.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing sugar-free gum will stimulate saliva production, which will help remove some of the sugar from your teeth. This could be a good item to hand out for trick-or-treaters if you want to give them something a little healthier this year.

Brush and Floss

This may be obvious, but always remember to brush and floss, especially when you’ve been eating candy. Food gets stuck between your teeth and sugar likes to cling to your teeth, so make sure you do your best to continue good brushing and flossing habits through Halloween. Help your children establish good dental hygiene habits to ensure healthy teeth when this sugar-filled holiday is over.

You can still enjoy this holiday and your favorite candies. Just make a plan to keep your family healthy through all of the candy-filled fun.

Signs Your Mouth Isn’t As Healthy As It Should Be

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Your mouth can be described as ‘a window to your general health’. Taking a closer inspection can give you clues as to how well the rest of your body is performing. Your mouth can give you an indication of whether there are undiagnosed issues that are affecting your body, since more than ninety percent of all systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms. Good oral health is incredibly important, and neglecting this can lead to a range of serious issues. Here are some of the signs that your mouth isn’t as healthy as it should be, and what you can do to resolve any issues.

 

You Spit Blood When You Brush Your Teeth

Bleeding gums when your brush your teeth or floss shouldn’t be ignored. There are a number of causes, but one in particular to be aware of is gingivitis. This is an inflammation of the gums, directly caused by a buildup of plaque. While anyone can get it (and most people do at some point in their lives), some individuals are more at risk. Smokers, older people, those with a poor diet and anyone with an illness which compromises their immune systems. The problem with gingivitis is it can lead to gum disease. This spreads to underlying tissue and bone, and can eventually result in tooth loss. If you notice blood when you brush your teeth, good oral hygiene can help to get you back on track. Thoroughly brush twice a day. Floss once a day, and use an antibacterial mouthwash designed for gingivitis which can all help with this. Also, make sure you aren’t using a toothbrush that’s too firm and you’re not brushing too hard, which can aggravate gums. Maintaining a healthy diet, and scheduling a visit to see your dentist is also a good idea. Don’t let a relatively minor issue turn to a large one.

 

Your Tongue Doesn’t Look Healthy

A healthy tongue should be pink and clean. If you look closely you will see tiny red bumps, these contain taste buds and are completely normal. An unhealthy tongue can look inflamed (you may notice teeth indents on the sides of your tongue) or be a variety of colours from red to white, even black. You might notice cracks or a coating on the tongue. Sometimes an unhealthy looking tongue can be a result of poor oral hygiene, and so addressing this may fix the issue. Other times it could be a temporary problem. For example, if you’ve recently eaten a lot of salty foods, your body could be retaining water causing your tongue to swell. However, an unhealthy tongue can also indicate other health conditions. From hypothyroidism to sleep apnea to vitamin or mineral deficiency. If you’re worried about how yours looks, speak to your GP for more information.

 

You Have A Persistent Dry Mouth

A dry mouth is a normal symptom of mild dehydration, and is your bodies way of letting you know you need to drink some fluids. However, if your mouth feels persistently dry despite drinking enough water, it’s a clue that something isn’t quite right. It could be a side effect of medication you’re taking, or could be an issue with your salivary glands not producing enough saliva. There may be an underlying cause elsewhere in your body, such as type two diabetes. This often presents symptoms of an unquenchable thirst. A dry mouth can cause many issues. It can lead to oral thrush and halitosis (bad breath) which can lead to a significant amount of social anxiety and embarrassment. It can alter the way you taste foods, and cause uncomfortable burning or stinging of your mouth and lips. Dry lips can often crack and bleed and become a painful issue within themselves. If you are sure that you’re drinking enough water but are still experiencing a dry mouth, it’s important to get this checked out. It will mean you’re much more comfortable, and will prevent secondary infections cropping up as a result of it.

 

Your Teeth Don’t Look Their Best

There’s a reason why good teeth are so highly regarded, they symbolise youth and beauty. Discolouration, tooth decay and loose or missing teeth are major clues that your mouth isn’t at it’s best. Some issues may just be cosmetic- and be fixed with things like teeth whitening and veneers. If your teeth are painful or loose, then further work will probably be needed. Visiting a professional such as this dentist office can help you get back on track with the appearance of your teeth. If your teeth cause you pain or embarrassment it’s important not to bury your head in the sand, as this is only likely to make things worse. Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, quitting smoking and living a generally healthy lifestyle will all help you to keep your teeth in the best condition possible. Scheduling regular dentist checkups mean they can catch anything early, and sort issues before they become painful or hugely problematic.

 

Lumps, Bumps and Sores In The Mouth

White or red patches in the mouth, pain, numbness or any kinds of lumps and bumps should always be taken seriously. They can indicate a result of a range of issues inside the body, and it’s not worth taking any chances. While there are a variety of conditions which benign growths in the mouth, leukaemia and cancers can also be a cause. While anyone can get the disease, mouth cancers are most prevalent in people who smoke and drink alcohol. They are also more common than men than in women. But don’t just rule yourself out without having any worrying symptoms properly checked out. Recurrent canker sores or ‘mouth ulcers’ should also be looked at. While most of us get the occasional one now and again, if yours are particularly large or keep coming back it may mean there’s some other issue going on. The exact cause isn’t known, but it’s thought to indicate an immune system issue.