Let’s face it, without proper oral hygiene and dental exams, your mouth could easily take after the smiles adorning the glowing jack-o-lanterns this month. So what better time to discuss hygiene and health for your oral cavity? And as a bonus, it’s National Dental Hygiene Month! Our Polaris dentist and staff love this time of year. We enjoy discussing dental hygiene and adore hearing about the tricks, treats, and costumes that roam the streets every year. However, candy and smiles don’t always go hand in hand.
Jack O’Lantern Smiles
One of many Halloween stories regarding the origination of the Jack-o-lantern is an old tale about an Irish thief who roams the streets as a ghost. Townsfolk carved scary faces into turnips to scare him off in order to protect their home and family. As the practice made its way to North America, pumpkins took the place of turnips and potatoes as they were more plentiful and native to the land. Help your children avoid looking like one of these spooky faces by encouraging their brushing and flossing habits.
Along with brushing and flossing, make sure to set some boundaries about how much candy should be consumed. Too much candy isn’t good for your teeth or your health. The types of candy matter also. Gummy or sticky candy can damage teeth and are harder to clean off of teeth. Hard candy can crack or chip a tooth. Sort through candy as a family and limit yourselves to treats that won’t harm your smile.
As a tribute to National Dental Hygiene Month, take the time to discuss proper hygiene techniques. Brush the sugar away after eating your Halloween treats, and at least twice every day. Floss regularly and make sure to visit our Polaris dentist at least two times every year. Children can further reduce their chance of cavities with dental sealants. We often recommend sealants as a way to protect young teeth. Sealants are painted on the tooth and protect the small crevices in the tooth from developing cavities. Water intake is also important to your oral health. It keeps you hydrated while also flushing bacteria and plaque buildup away.
Halloween is a fun time to indulge in a few goodies, but your oral health does not have to suffer. Talk, as a family, about how everyone can improve their hygiene habits or visit our Polaris dentist to learn proper brushing and flossing techniques. Keep your sugar intake to a minimum, drink plenty of water, and brush and floss after you enjoy your treat. With the right amount of care, your smile won’t end up on a pumpkin.
If you would like to learn more about oral health, please join us on Facebook or give our office a call to set up an appointment. We’ll do all we can to keep your smile looking great and cavity free.