Fall is here, and with it come all the young ghosts, goblins, vampires, and creatures of the night. They only have one purpose: to go out in the night clad in costumes of darkness (and probably down coats knowing our weather) to seek candy.
That’s right it’s Halloween in Waterford, Michigan and as cold as it gets you can’t stop your children from seeking out all the treats they can trick! At The Waterford Dentist we don’t want to stop your kids from enjoying their holiday treats but we do want to recommend caution: sugar is bad for their teeth!
Do you know how sugar causes cavities? It’s a good step in knowing how to prevent them, that’s for sure!
The bacteria in your mouth everyone’s mouths, really makes up plaque. Plaque is the sticky stuff that forms on your teeth and it just loves to eat sugar. When you or your child chow down on candy and other sweets so does plaque bacteria, and when it does it produces acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Pretty soon you have cavities as tooth decay goes further and further into the body of your teeth!
Cavities don’t have to happen though! Good oral care habits can go a long way to stop cavities, especially this time of year! Make sure that your children are brushing their teeth in the mornings and evenings and are also drinking a lot of water! Water can help free up bits of sticky candy and chocolate that continue assaulting your teeth as long as they are there!
Halloween candy excess doesn’t just lead to oral health problems. At The Waterford Dentist we definitely focus on your oral health but this time of year is a great opportunity to discuss the other health effects of sugar!
For starters, let’s talk recommended daily sugar intake. In reality you can do without any extra sugar. Your body needs one type of sugar, called glucose, to make energy for your cells but it doesn’t need to get that from sweets. Glucose can be found in any carbohydrates, like vegetables, grains, and other non-sweet foods, and can also be metabolized from fat.
Of course, we all like sweet treats, so the American Heart Association has put out recommendations for people both young and old. A child age four to eight shouldn’t get more than three teaspoons of sugar a day. Unfortunately the average American in that age bracket is eating over 20 teaspoons a day! And that’s just the average imagine how high it gets during trick-or-treating season!
For adults the recommendation doesn’t get much higher 6 teaspoons. Of course, adults get far more. On average most American adults eat 30 or more teaspoons of sugar a day! The more sugar you eat the more excess sugar goes straight to your liver to be stored as fat!
Excess sugar also means your mouth is subject to a heavier attack by plaque acids! Consuming even a little sugar starts an acid attack that lasts about a half hour. If you eat more sugar or consume it over a longer period of time you end up with a longer acid attack. Prolonged exposure to plaque acids is really bad for your teeth!
There’s a sure-fire way to prevent cavities and excess calories from Halloween treats: don’t eat them but that’s no fun! We think your kids should have a chance to enjoy their Halloween treats but just not to complete excess!
Make sure that you balance candy with physical activity, good oral care habits, and stressing with your children how important it is to take care of their teeth. As a final component you should also make sure to schedule regular cleanings and exams for them to ensure that any potential cavities are caught before they become serious!
It’s the time of year where you can enjoy the holidays that are soon to come, so don’t make your children abstain just make sure healthy habits don’t end completely! Make an appointment for you and them at The Waterford Dentist by calling us at (248) 674-0495. We look forward to seeing you and your whole family soon!
Call us today! Dial (248) 674-0495.