In a few days, ghosts and goblins, skeletons and superheroes, witches and vampires will be roaming the streets. Halloween is a treat for kids and lots of adults, too.
While the costumes are all in good fun, we want you to remember something else — how to keep your mouth healthy and your smile intact.
There’s no trick here. The staff of Atlanta West Dentistry wants you to remember to practice good oral hygiene. That means taking the time to brush and floss correctly every day.
Bad oral hygiene is scary
We’ve seen the effects of poor oral hygiene, and we hope you and your loved ones never have to see it.
If you don’t take the time to care for your mouth, you may experience some frightening consequences, such as:
• Bad breath — Bad breath is embarrassing for you, and it makes the people around you uncomfortable. You can try having a mint or chewing gum, but that’s only hiding the real problem.
Persistent bad breath is often the result of another oral health problem.
• Plaque and tartar — If you don’t care for your teeth by brushing and flossing, plaque can build inside your mouth. If this plaque isn’t removed regularly, it can combine with other things in your mouth to form tartar, a harder substance that should be removed by a dental professional.
• Tooth decay — Too much sugar (like in Halloween candy) can combine with the bacteria in your mouth. That can wear down the enamel on your teeth, and that can lead to tooth decay.
• Bleeding gums — This is another unpleasant sight, especially if you see it in the mirror. Bleeding gums are a sign that you have gum disease. In the worst cases, gum disease can cause you to lose your teeth.
Thankfully, all the problems mentioned above are preventable, but it’s up to you to keep your mouth healthy.
Treat yourself to a healthy smile
If you want to keep your mouth looking and feeling its best, follow these tips.
1. Brush twice every day. To brush properly, you need to brush for at two minutes each time. You should remember to brush all sides of your teeth. This reduces plaque on your teeth and keeps them looking whiter.
2. Floss at least once a day. Flossing, like brushing, keeps plaque from building up in your mouth. Flossing also helps keep your gums healthy, making it less likely you will suffer from gum disease.
3. Eat healthy. Eating a balanced diet of healthy foods is good for your whole body, and that includes your mouth.
4. Avoid having too much sugar. Soft drinks, fruits, and, yes, all that Halloween candy is bad for your teeth.
5. Don’t use tobacco. Tobacco products make your teeth look yellow and stained. They cause you to have bad breath, and they increase your risk of oral cancer. It’s best to just avoid tobacco.
How to brush and floss
As a reminder, here is how to brush and floss your teeth. We’ve included links to videos by the American Dental Association to help.
When brushing your teeth, follow these guidelines.
First, remember to brush for two minutes twice every day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably.
Use a fluoride toothpaste that has the “ADA Accepted” seal. Brush your teeth on all sides while holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums.
Also remember to brush your tongue to remove bacteria. This will keep you breath smelling fresh.
Last but not least, change your toothbrush every three to four months.
Your should floss your teeth once per day.
Use an 18-inch piece of dental floss. Wrap the ends around your middle fingers.
Grab the floss between your forefingers (pointer fingers) and your thumbs with about an inch between them. Hold the floss tightly against each tooth and rub it gently up and down between your teeth.
If you have trouble using or holding dental floss, consider using another type of interdental cleaner. Whichever you use, remember to use it daily to prevent plaque build-up on your teeth.
We wish everyone a safe and happy Halloween. If you do enjoy some candy (don’t overdo it), always remember to clean your teeth.
Making your teeth disappear is a trick you don’t want to see.
If you have questions about oral care or you would like to make an appointment for a cleaning, call Atlanta West Dentistry in Marietta. Our number is 770-744-4619.