Gilroy, CA, Sept 28, 2017 — Candy is harder to avoid on Halloween than pumpkin spice and spooky ghosts and witches, but according to Gilroy dentist Dr. Jernell Escobar, teeth problems can be avoided with some good habits and monitoring the amount of candy children eat.
“It really can be quite a challenge for parents to let children enjoy Halloween, but still maintain the health of their teeth,” says Dr. Escobar. “But the solution isn't to ban all candy, which is an impossible, but to closely monitor their intake of candies and other sweets.”
Halloween is the start of the “sweet season,” which includes Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve, the time of the year that is taken up with holiday parties, family celebrations, school activities and community events. Parents have to be extra attentive during this time of the year because many of these events feature cookies, cakes, pies, brownies, and other sweet treats.
Dr. Escobar wants people to be aware that there are good sweets and bad sweets, much as there are good habits and bad habits when it comes to the health of their teeth.
Sweets such as taffy and hard candies that can sit on or stuck between teeth for long periods of time actually increases the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria feeds on the sugar on the teeth, producing acid that causes tooth decay.
“Candies” such as sugar-free gum can prevent cavities by dislodging food particles and increasing saliva, which helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
“We can't avoid all sweets, of course, but by being smart with our choices, going for healthy alternatives and promoting a healthy oral routine with our kids, we can all keep our families happy and healthy during the holiday season,” says Dr. Escobar.
The American Dental Association, on its website mouthhealthy.org, offers 10 easy-to-follow tips to help your children maintain a healthy mouth and teeth:
1. Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
2. Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Besides how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
3. Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
4. Drink more water. Drinking optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.
5. Maintain a healthy diet. Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you "fill up" affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
6. Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
7. Chew sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria.
8. Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won't do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
9. Clean between teeth daily with floss. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
10. Visit your dentist. Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to "treat."
About Dr. Jernell Escobar DDS
Dr. Jernell Escobar and her staff are dedicated to providing patients with a pleasant visit and results that they are proud to show off. Her administrative staff is ready to help with questions about scheduling, financial policy and insurance, to make that part of the process as simple as possible.
Dr. Escobar's offers advanced dental treatments and materials that can give patients a healthier, more complete smile that can last a lifetime, including TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders), Fillings / Restorations, Dental Sealants, Dentures, Bridges, Dental Implants, Crowns, Tooth Extractions and Non-Surgical Root Canal.
Cosmetic treatments offered by Dr. Escobar and her staff include Bonding, Porcelain Veneers, Inlays & Onlays, Teeth Whitening, Zoom Whitening, Laser Smile and Clear Braces.
They can also answer questions about the different dental specialties and explain the meaning of dental terms, including in areas of Oral Hygiene, Child Dentistry, Prophylaxis (Teeth Cleaning), Periodontal Maintenance and Arestin.
Born and raised in Southern California, Dr. Escobar became interested in healthcare while serving her country as a Public Health technician for the United States Air Force. After seven years of military service, Dr. Escobar was honorably discharged from the Air Force, having garnered multiple awards and service commendations.
Upon completion of her military service, Dr. Escobar received a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from San Jose State University, graduating with honors. She earned a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2006.
After completion of dental school, Dr. Escobar continued her education at the University of the Pacific School of Education and earned a master's degree in Dental Education in 2009.
Dr. Escobar has been practicing dentistry in the bay area since 2006. She is passionate about providing exceptional oral health care in a patient-centered environment. In addition, Dr. Escobar enjoys spending time with her two children. Some of her favorite activities include travel, boating, running marathons, triathlons, wakeboarding and yoga.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901