Saying 'Boo' To Cavities This Halloween: Preventive Tips And Tricks For Parents And Kids


Preventive Tips And Tricks For Parents And Kids (NAPSA)—Halloweencan be scary holiday for families. Not because of the haunted houses, ghosts andgoblins, but becauseof tooth decay. On average, between parties and trick-or-treating, kids consume three cups of sugar on October31 alone, but even before that, the battle has already begun. Parents trick themselves into thinking that this sweet holiday is just one day,butthetreats begin early in the month andcontinuelong after the costumesare put away, and the sugar-laden Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays loom ahead. ‘That's one reason Octoberis National Dental Hygiene Month. Anotheris that while people generally have a brushing Photo credit: NIH/NIDCR Throughout the day, a tug-of-war takesplac ie your mouth. lost, it’s gone forever. Thankfully, new science-based research says preventive dental care can avoid painfulfill- ings, crowns androotcanals. Weakened enamelcan repairitself with the right products and protocols, such as those found at, a new, pre- “routine,” most don't really know how to take optimalcareoftheir teeth. Now, that is frightening. It’s time to correct some myths about mouths: scription-based dental care system that helps remineralize teeth to reverse early Brushingright after meals, or after Toothsensitivity can be a sign of Myth #1—BrushAfter Every Meal decay andlowertherisk offuture decay, whenused correctly. Myth #3—Sensitive Teeth CannotBe Cured drinks, early tooth decay.Millions ofAmericans starches, acids may be present on your teeth, attacking the enamel and causing them to soften.If you brush them before the enamel has time to reharden, the polishing compoundsin your toothpaste can act as abrasives andactually damage your teeth. Tiny amounts of precious phosphate and fluoride), can more effec- consuming sugar-sweetened can do more harm than good. Surprised?After you eat or drink sugars and enamelare being sanded awayforever if you brushtoo soon. To make things worse, the primary function oftoothpaste is to deliver min- erals to repair your enamel, and this remineralization is inhibited if your mouthisstill acidic right after a meal or sweetbeverage. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends waiting an hour before brushing to lower the risk of harming your enamel. Experts also rec- ommendbrushing with fluoride toothpaste 30 minutes before eating. This ensures that your enamelis strong and ready for the acid challenge oftypical foods and sweetened drinks. Myth #2—Fillings Are the Only Way to Treat Tooth Decay ‘Thetraditional approachis to “drill it and fill it” You're born with a limited amount of enamel and whenit’s suffer from sensitive, painful teeth, purchasing variousover-the-countertoothpastes seeking relief. These products often lack sufficient levels of necessary active ingredients and only mask the sensitivity. Prescription-strength dental care products, containing the opti- mal amounts of key minerals (calcium, tively remineralize teeth, greatly reduc- ingsensitivity. “Its important to follow validated best practices to prevent tooth decay, and keep your enamel strong and healthy? advises Dr. Anthony T. Fer- nandez, DDS. NewEnamelis designed to reduce the risk factors that promote decay, and increase the protective factors that enhance repair to the surface of the tooth. The newlyrepaired enamel surface is often stronger than it was before treatment. With somesimple precautions and changesto yourdental routine, you can help your teeth last lifetime—and save yourself a lot ofmoneyandunnecessary visits to the dentist. Learn More For further facts about preventing, reducing andeven reversing tooth decay, visit a -Editor's Note: Although October is National DentalHygiene Month, theinformation inthis article can be usefaltoyour readers cat any time.