Welcome to North Shore Health Department North Shore Health Department Highlights 10/15/2019 Did you know? Conveniently timed to coincide with Halloween and Trick-or-Treating, October is National Dental Hygiene Month. With bags of free candy and more sweets than your children can eat in one sitting, it’s no surprise that Halloween can also present health challenges. Here's some tips to help your family stay tooth-healthy on Halloween and year-round. • Time it right: Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals, which helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Snacking can increase your risk of cavities, and sweet snacks are even worse. • Choose candy carefully: Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. The longer time candies stay in the mouth, the increased risk of tooth decay. Sticky candies like taffy and gummy bears stick to your teeth and take even longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay. • Drink more water: Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. • Brush and floss: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. Remember to 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. Floss your teeth once a day to get decay-causing bacteria between teeth and under the gum line where toothbrush bristles can't reach. • Visit the 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. For more information on protecting your child’s teeth, visit https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/childrens-oral-health/fl_caries.htm Missed the highlights? Click here to view previous highlights.