Articles Halloween: A scary time for teeth

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So October is over, summer is long gone and perhaps some of us are worried about the damage Halloween has had on our kids’ (and perhaps our own!) teeth. Naturally, dental problems – what with sweets at Halloween and an array of sweet and sugary foods on Bonfire Night – have been seen to notably rise during autumn. With cavities and tooth erosion abound many people look for the different types of dental care available to them at this time of year.

Are the cold winter months bad for our teeth?

The reason autumn is such a danger to teeth is not because of the amount of sugar that is eaten but the amount of time spent eating sugary foods. Throughout autumn sugary foods are consumed more consistently than any other time of year. The main problems that occur from excessive sugar consumption are tooth erosion and decay. Every time you eat, acid is produced by plaque – a bacteria in the mouth – as a result of the sugar in your meal, it sticks around for around half an hour once you’ve finished eating, eroding the enamel of your teeth and takes saliva an hour to neutralise; this is known as tooth decay. Tooth erosion is caused by acids directly from sugary foods and effects the whole tooth; the time that the acid is attacking the tooth is generally the same with both however. Because of this it is better to eat sugary foods over a short period of time than spread out the consumption.

Many dentists are now advising people to give out small toys or healthy snacks at Halloween rather than sweets and snacks which are more commonly associated with Halloween. Many people might see this as not traditional to Halloween or simply decide they still want sweeter snacks!

The options available to you

If this is the case dental treatment may become something that will be needed. There are a number of cosmetic bonding options (a dental technique where a tooth-coloured material is fixed over a tooth, either for cosmetic reasons or to protect the tooth). One of these options is to get a dental crown, which takes its name from the way the material will be attached to the top of your tooth, similar to a crown. This procedure will involve multiple trips to the dental practice. Firstly the area that is getting the crown will be numbed using aesthetic. Secondly your dentist will file away the decay and a small portion of the tooth enamel of the damaged tooth so the crown can sit evenly with your other teeth.

Sometimes if your tooth has been badly eroded your dentist may have to add to the tooth enamel so that it is the same size as your other teeth. Next a mould will be made of your tooth and sent away so your crown can be made. This generally takes 2 to 3 weeks and you will be given a temporary crown in the mean time. When you return once the crown has been made, the tooth will once again be numbed and the temporary crown removed. Your dentist will then cement the new crown in place.

Another method is to get a filling, this procedure is much simpler and takes only one visit, it is something most people will at least have considered at some point. The decay of the tooth is firstly removed with the use of the infamous drill we all dread. A specialised filling specific to your tooth is then fitted. This filling can be a number of colours. White ones are seen to be the more aesthetically pleasing but generally don’t last as long as the more traditional silver fillings.

Looking for cosmetic dentistry? Talk to Harley Street Dental Studio

The Harley Street Dental Studio has a vast range of services to enhance your smile. For more information on any aspect of cosmetic dentistry contact us on 020 7636 5981.




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