PA Department of Health Ruling Regarding Dental Appointments

Simple Cavity Prevention Tricks and Dental Implant Friendly Treats

Fall is in full swing. Along with pumpkin picking, hayrides, and corn mazes comes the enjoyment of seasonal treats and sweets. The acid and sugar in food and drinks can create a sticky situation for teeth and even damage dental implants. Keep smiles healthy with simple dental friendly tricks for enjoying seasonal treats.

Halloween Treat Teeth Busters

It takes only 20 minutes for plaque to begin building on teeth after eating. As sugar is consumed, an acid attack begins, demineralizing teeth and weakening tooth structure, increasing the risk of dental caries developing. The interaction between acid and sugar can damage teeth over time, causing dental erosion, tooth decay, and cavities to form. Common culprits include:

  • Sticky or Chewy Candies: Gummy worms, taffy, candy corn, and caramel or candied apples can leave a sticky residue often difficult to remove from teeth. Chewy sweets can also cause dental implants to wear down faster if consumed regularly and are especially tricky when chewed with orthodontic treatments.
  • Hard Candies: Butterscotch discs, jawbreakers, or lollipops can crack or fracture dental implants and natural teeth when biting down. Candies that dissolve slowly keep teeth coated in sugar for longer periods of time. Sour candies are especially harmful due to their extra acidity.
  • Kettle Corn or Caramel Corn: Popcorn can stick between gums, teeth, and dental implants. Once lodged it can cause gum tissue inflammation and shorten the life of a dental implant.
  • Hot Beverages and Hard Ciders: Before drinking a hot apple cider or pumpkin spiced latte, check the temperature to make sure it’s not too hot. Also, limit the amount of hard cider consumed. Metals in dental implants may slightly contract when surrounded by hot liquid temperatures. Extreme heat can also cause damage to gum tissue holding a dental implant in place, leading to premature loosening or loss. Hard ciders containing alcohol are very acidic and have the potential to cause dry mouth and stain teeth. Drinking coffee regularly can also stain dental implants and teeth and wear down tooth enamel, leading to temperature sensitivity issues.

Chocolate is the Top Choice for Halloween Treats

Chocolate still reigns supreme as Halloween’s sweet treat of choice. According to an NPD press release on sweet treats, chocolate is a popular candy choice for snacking, especially around Halloween. Chocolate melts in the mouth when consumed, and does not stick to teeth. Dark chocolate is proven to be an even better choice. According to a study posted to the National Library of Medicine, polyphenols in cocoa successfully kill cavity-causing bacteria and create a barrier between teeth and plaque.

Tricks for a Healthy Smile

Sweet beverages and sugary candies should always be followed with plenty of water to dilute the acid produced by plaque bacteria. Brushing, flossing, rinsing, and drinking plenty of water after consuming sugary food and drinks helps prevent tooth enamel erosion. Brush teeth at least twice daily and floss between teeth and dental implants to clean away any sticky residue sweets leave behind. Also, look for chewing gum products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance to neutralize acid production and stimulate saliva to naturally rinse the mouth and prevent plaque buildup. To prevent tooth decay and improve oral health, take daily dental care action steps and keep regular dental checkups. USA Today points to additional brushing and teeth-cleaning tips to prevent cavities while munching on Halloween treats.

Dental implants require the same attention as natural teeth. Seek professional dental attention immediately if experiencing noticeable gum tissue pain surrounding a dental implant, wiggling, cracks, chips, or breaks. We urge all patients to contact us immediately for an evaluation of the dental implant and to address any discomfort, gum inflammation, or noticeable infection.

Keep smiling while combating dental implant destruction and sugar-induced cavities. Brush, floss and drink water after enjoying sweets, and contact Three Rivers Dental Group by calling 1-855-NO FEARS or request an appointment online. From crowns to bridges, dentures or dental implants, we offer several dental solutions to restore or replace missing and damaged teeth. We are conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Cranberry, Greentree, Greensburg, and Jennerstown.