Amy books her six-month appointment with her dentist expecting to breeze through with just a cleaning and quick confirmation that all is well. She hasn’t had a filling since she was a kid, which she attributes to her faithful adherence to her brushing and flossing routine. Amy is shocked when her dentist tells her she’ll have to schedule a follow-up appointment to repair not one but two new cavities.
Amy’s Kanata dentist acknowledges she is normally a star patient and tries to help her get to the bottom of any changes in her health or lifestyle that could have contributed to her tooth decay. She is surprised to learn one possible culprit is a new inhaled asthma prescription which has altered her natural mouth flora. While she had adjusted to the old prescription, the new one has shaken things up a bit. She’s advised to stay the course though─it’s the switch that’s disruptive, not the specific medication. Many medications commonly used in the senior population cause dry mouth whichg can lead to cavities. Always let your dentist know about which medications you are using and changes in your dosage.
Another change in Amy’s routine is a small one that’s making a big impact. Her office mate recently added a candy bowl to their workspace that is always stocked with hard candies. Although Amy’s not a huge fan of candy and would never go out of her way to purchase any, it’s too easy to swipe one from the bowl on her way by as a little reward for a demanding work day.
Unfortunately, Amy is usually eating candy at the end of the day right before her long commute. The sugar is sitting for at least an hour on her teeth, and she’s already dehydrated from too much coffee and not enough water. She has very little saliva to wash away the sticky sugar and is creating a perfect environment for cavities to form. Lollipops, caramels, hard candies, and jellied candies are the worst offenders, but sugary drinks that contain acids like pop, iced tea, juice, and lemonade damage teeth as well.
The Kanata dentist extracts a promise from Amy to cut out the afternoon candy immediately, and switch to a healthy, teeth-friendly snack like carrots or a piece of cheese. He also warns her that a similar effect can occur when people sip pop or juice while watching a movie at home and then fall asleep for awhile on the couch without brushing. Amy also agrees to keep a spare toothbrush at work in case she does indulge her sweet tooth occasionally. With these small changes, Amy’s next check-up is uneventful.