Beware the Cavity Monster this Halloween

Oct 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Children's Dentistry, Oral Hygiene

oral bacteriaIt’s that time of year again, when young ghouls and goblins will soon be roaming the streets, seeking to appease their insatiable appetites for candy. Another insatiable appetite, which candy also helps feeds, is the one that oral bacteria have for sugar and other carbohydrates. As children consume their Halloween treats this year, malicious microbes in their mouths will busily produce acids that can attack and weaken their tooth enamel, paving the way for cavities. As a dedicated family dentist in Richmond, Dr. Stefan Moiceanu explains ways you can help protect your child’s teeth from this year’s onslaught of Halloween fun.

How a Tooth Decays

In times past, popular belief stated that a tooth worm was the reason for most dental maladies. Toothaches, for instance, were attributed to these worms wiggling around inside of a tooth. That myth has been debunked as the true source of tooth decay was discovered. Dental plaque, the sticky substance that sticks to the surfaces of your teeth and along your gum line, consists of over 600 different kinds of oral bacteria. Of those, Streptococcus mutans is perhaps the strain most responsible for the onset of tooth decay. These bacteria synthesize sugars and carbs to produce lactic acid, which eats away at tooth enamel and saps teeth of the minerals enamel could use to restrengthen itself. If enamel is too weak to repel bacteria, than harmful microbes can enter the underlying tissue, called dentin, and infect the interior of your tooth. A cavity, or hole, forms in your tooth as the infection progressively tooth decays tissue.

Protect Your Children’s Teeth

To help protect your child from excessive exposure to sugar this Halloween, ensure that they brush and floss their teeth thoroughly before bed. The ritual should last at least two-minutes, and every surface of every tooth must be addressed. You can also limit the number of pieces of candy your child is allowed to eat that night, which may also help prevent other problems, such as a tummy ache from too many sweets. At Hilltop Family Dental, we understand how important the rewards of Halloween can be. To learn more about protecting your child’s teeth, or to schedule a consultation, contact Dr. Moiceanu at our Richmond, CA dentist office by calling 510-758-7222. Located in Richmond, we proudly serve families from Berkeley, San Pablo, Pinole, Benicia, Vallejo, and the surrounding communities.

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