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It’s that time of year: when our houses are flooded with yummy Halloween candy! Halloween-time is, by its very nature, indulgent, but there are still simple things that you can do to help safeguard your smile this fall. Here are some helpful tips from our O’Fallon dentists

1. Drink Up

This is a great time to increase the amount of water that you drink, and to be really mindful about staying hydrated. When you are properly hydrated, your body is able to produce saliva, which naturally helps to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize your dental enamel.

2. Rinse Regularly

Keep sugary substances from sitting on your enamel by rinsing your mouth with water after eating or drinking. This simple step can help you maintain fresh breath throughout the day.

3. Enjoy Responsibly

Did you know that it actually makes a difference when, precisely, you eat candy? For example, if you indulge in a piece of candy after eating a meal, your mouth is already flooded with saliva. This means that your body is better able to neutralize the bacteria that feed on sugary substances. Likewise, it is better to eat candy in one, time-limited setting, rather than snacking throughout the day. The key is, we want to minimize the amount of time that your enamel or and oral tissues are exposed to sugars.

4. Beware of Certain Types of Candy

Sticky candies are notorious for getting stuck between your teeth. When enjoying something chewy and sticky, make sure to remove any pits that may have become lodged in your smile—use gentle floss rather than potentially abrasive toothpicks. Also, when enjoying hard candies or mints, make sure that you are not chewing these candies, as chewing hard substances can lead to dental damage.

As always, our O’Fallon dentists are here to answer all of your questions and give you any more information that you may need on maintaining your smile. Call our team to learn more!

Pediatric dental care can make a big difference for your child’s smile today, and well into the future. Keep reading to get some simple tips on how to help your child develop healthy oral hygiene habits!

Proper dental care starts at home! Encourage your child to…

· Brush his teeth at least twice a day—specifically, in the morning and night before bed

· Brush for at least 2 minutes every time he brushes—keep a stopwatch by the sink, or play a song that is about 2 minutes long to help your child keep track of time!

· Use gentle circular motions to buff plaque off of his teeth—remind your child that applying more pressure does not equal a better clean; in fact, applying too much pressure can cause enamel thinning and gum tissue damage

· Floss once a day—the best time to floss is actually in the evening, right before you brush your teeth

· Floss between every single one of his teeth for optimal results

· Guide his floss down into his gum tissue in order to remove as much plaque as possible

Professional dental care complements your at-home efforts.

· Most dental patients—both children and adults—should complete professional dental cleanings every six months or so. This allows our dental team to clear away newly developed plaque and tartar in a timely fashion.

· Some children will benefit from additional preventive treatments, like sealants and topical fluoride treatments.

· Our dental team is here to reinforce all of the good work that you’re doing at home, and talk to your child about why oral health is so important! We can also review proper brushing and flossing techniques with them, and answer any questions that they may have.

As always, please feel free to reach out to our O’Fallon dentists to get more information about dental care for people of all ages!

Ready to take your flossing routine to the next level? Most people know that flossing can help to keep harmful oral plaque at bay; unfortunately, many adult and pediatric dental patients don’t keep up with flossing like they should. Our O’Fallon dentists encourage you to jump start your flossing routine and get back on track. Keep reading to get some helpful tips!

Know when to floss for best results

The American Dental Association recommends that patients floss once a day in order to minimize plaque accumulation. For best results, floss right before you brush your teeth at night; this allows you to dislodge as much bacteria and dental debris as possible before you buff it away.

Prevent cross contamination

When you start to floss, tear off a large strip of floss. Then, move down the strip of floss as you go from tooth to tooth. This will help to ensure that you do not accidentally compound bacterial plaque as you go from tooth to tooth.

Don’t skip days

Remember that plaque is accumulating every day and every night—plaque production is simply an unavoidable byproduct of daily life. It is very important for you to floss every day in order to stay on top of plaque accumulation

Be thorough

As you move your floss between your teeth, make sure to move the floss both vertically and from side to side; this helps you scrape away as much plaque as possible from your dental surfaces. Gently guide the floss down into your gum tissue in order to keep your gum tissue clean as well.

Even if it has been a long time since you have flossed regularly, you can get back on track! Our O’Fallon dentists are here to give you any additional information or guidance that you may need. Give us a call to get started!

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