Fall Into a Healthy Smile this Season - Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics

Fall Into a Healthy Smile this Season

What Braces Option Is Best for Your Teen?
October 4, 2018
Halloween Candy Fun without the Cavities
October 18, 2018

Woman laying in fall leaves and holding one by her mouth. She is smiling at the camera.

How often should you see the dentist for dental cleanings and exam? What about your child? How can they keep their smiles healthy throughout all the upcoming holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas? There are many ways to keep a healthy smile this season, while still enjoying the holidays and the sweet treats they bring. Follow these simple tips and recommendations to have that beautiful and healthy smile from now on!


What Factors Affect Your Smile?

Have you ever thought about how important your smile is? Studies show that a person’s smile is one of the first things others notice about them. About 1/3rd of all people will look at a person’s smile first and will determine many things about their life because of it. Studies show that a better (and straighter) smile makes others think of you as healthier, wealthier, more confident and even more trustworthy.


How well you eat and how you take care of your smile can determine if you have a healthy smile or one plagued by decay and oral health diseases. Factors that can hurt your smile include:

  • Eating foods high in sugar, including drinks. Sugar mixed with mouth bacteria creates plaque, which is the acidic substance that sticks to your teeth and decays them.
  • Drinking carbonated or acidic drinks, which either contain carbonic acid or citric acid. These types of drinks erode tooth enamel and strip your teeth of minerals, decaying them.
  • Not following oral hygiene recommendations for brushing, flossing and dental visits.
  • Chronic conditions that can affect your oral health. An example is diabetes, which can worsen your gum health, which can lead to receding gums and tooth loss.
  • Dyes in foods and drinks that can change a white, healthy smile to a dull gray or yellow one over time.


A mother and young daughter smiling as they start to hug. They are sitting in front of Halloween sugar cookies they just finished frosting.

How Can the Holidays Affect a Healthy Smile?

For some people, it’s rather easy to avoid sugary foods and to take care of the teeth through proper oral hygiene. However, that can become much more difficult when the holidays roll around and schedules become busier. To have a healthy smile year-round, people have to plan ways to brush and floss while at work or on vacation. During the holidays, candy and sweet treats become more common, as does over-eating and busier schedules. When family and friend gatherings happen, your oral health may be the last thing on your mind.


If you need to, physically write a reminder to brush and floss your teeth during the holidays and busy times. Keep a to-go brush and floss kit with you or healthy snacks you can eat (instead of candy) when you’re in a bind. This is especially important for major holiday times that bring lots of sugary treats.


Preventing Oral Health Problems

It’s actually quite easy to prevent oral health problems from happening to your healthy smile. As we mentioned, you have to up your game with oral hygiene and keep at it always. These are a few simple recommendations that come straight from our office and the American Dental Association:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, if not after every meal. The ADA recommends brushing for 2 minutes every single time you do it. Help children to brush for that amount of time by doing it with them, reading to them for 2 minutes or playing a song or video they can watch. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen the delicate baby teeth.
  • Floss the teeth 1-2 times each day. Children will need your help until their hands have the dexterity to floss by themselves. Use flossers or regular floss to dislodge food. Children may have an easier time learning with flossers. Make sure to get up into the gumline and to scrape the teeth gently as you floss to remove extra plaque.
  • Get dental sealants for your little ones. Children have one of the highest risk for cavities, especially because of sugar and candy consumption. It’s even worse during the holidays. Dental sealants are plastic coatings a dentist can place on the teeth to help seal them from sugar and plaque that would cause their teeth harm.
  • Limit sugar consumption. This can be hard for kids and adults alike. The less sugar you eat, the less of a risk there is for cavities. Divide up holiday candy into small baggies that can be eaten at mealtime. Limit snacking between meals to avoid constant plaque production. Make sure there’s no nighttime snacking right before bed and make sure children brush and floss before bed to avoid plaque damage overnight.


A mother, father and daughter all brushing their teeth in the bathroom together.

Make Time for Dental Visits

Did you know that children should be visiting the dentist from the time they start to get teeth as an infant? As soon as there are teeth in the mouth, those delicate baby teeth can decay. That is why children need to start their dental visits before they are 3 years old, when they’ll have all the baby teeth in the mouth. Children should be seen around 1 year of age and biannually after that time to check for decay and to keep a healthy smile.


Adults and teens also need to visit the dentist biannually to keep healthy smiles. If you or your child are due for an exam or cleaning, call Hardy Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics today at (720) 887-6003 to achieve your healthy smile!