It’s finally autumn, which means it’s time to get excited about flannels, pumpkin-spiced lattes, Halloween parties, and Thanksgiving family gatherings. OK, maybe not flannels. Surprisingly, fall habits and events can negatively impact our oral health. Indulging in flavored coffees, Halloween candy, and sweets at Thanksgiving may erode the enamel on your teeth, which can result in cavities, gum disease, and even tooth loss.
Your Duncan, OK dentist, Dr. Matthew L. Bridges can help you and your family defend your mouths against decay and disease. Through preventative dentistry and at-home measures, protecting your teeth and gums will give you the freedom to enjoy this season.
Here are three tips to ensure your smile stays healthy:
1. Maintain a good oral hygiene routine.
Whether it’s summer, fall, winter, or spring, good oral hygiene habits are a necessity for both adults and children. These habits should include:
- Brushing properly: Brush your teeth at least twice a day — every morning and before bed for two to three minutes each. Use a fluoride toothpaste and make sure to purchase a new toothbrush every three months.
- Floss: We know, statistics have shown that flossing isn’t a priority for most people, but it should be, especially during the fall season. Floss reaches surfaces of your teeth that a toothbrush simply can’t. Flossing removes plaque that would otherwise build up and lead to decay and possibly gum disease.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash: Strengthen your teeth by rinsing with mouthwash once a day.
You can encourage your child to maintain these habits by brushing and flossing together every morning and evening. Other useful tips include buying your child, (or letting them pick out) a fun toothbrush and rewarding their fresh breath with a few extra minutes of playtime.
2. Make healthy eating choices.
Fall treats often include pumpkin-flavored coffees, grandma’s famous sweet potato pie, Halloween candy, apple cider, S’mores, and so much more. We aren’t going to tell you not to have those things, but we do encourage you to enjoy them in moderation.
We also encourage you to make healthier choices by eating things like:
- Leafy, green vegetables: Make a salad with spinach, kale, strawberries, nuts, and goat cheese as a healthy appetizer. These greens will help clean your teeth and curb your appetite.
- Cheese: This popular food contains phosphorous and calcium that promotes the remineralization of your teeth, which can prevent cavities.
- Berries: When you’re tempted to eat another slice of pie, choose berries instead. These fruits are great for your overall health and can be paired with yogurt or water to combat the acidity.
- Crunchy fruits and vegetables: Apples, broccoli, and celery are all great side or snack options. These fruits and vegetables naturally clean your mouth by scrubbing your teeth and stimulating the release of saliva.
3. Schedule your regular dental cleaning.
Dr. Bridges suggests visiting your dentist before you become too busy with the hustle and bustle of the holidays. This simple step will help you prevent oral issues such as tooth decay and gum disease.
During your appointment, one of our professional dental hygienists will gently and thoroughly clean and examine your teeth. He or she can spot any problems or potential problems you may have. Dr. Bridges will create a personalized treatment plan if necessary.
We might also suggest other preventative measures, such as:
- Dental sealants
- Fluoride treatments
- Custom mouth guards
- Digital x-rays
- Oral cancer screening
You can learn more about these treatments by clicking here.
Contact Your Duncan, OK Dentist Today
Don’t let oral health issues ruin your holidays. Take the first step towards prevention by calling our office today at 580-255-4880 to schedule your regular dental cleaning.