Who doesn’t love candy? Even if you’re not a big sweets person, most people have at least one treat they love to indulge in every once in awhile. Not only is there one day dedicated to the sugary delights we all know and love, November 4th to be exact, there’s also an entire month. The month of June is National Candy Month and while indulging in your favorite sweet treats, be sure to keep your teeth in mind.
The Link Between Candy and Cavities
According to the National Confectioners Association, the creators of National Candy Day, most Americans eat candy about twice a week. There’s no denying sugary candies aren’t good for your teeth. The real question is why. It’s not the sugar itself, but the chemical reaction it creates in our mouths according to dental expert Dr. Ken Collins, DDS, of Collins Dentistry and Aesthetics in Spokane, Washington.
“The naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth love sugar as much as we do. When the bacteria and sugar meet, they produce acid that can wreak havoc on the enamel of your teeth,” said Collins. “The enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth, that protects it from decay. As the enamel is worn away, it can’t repair itself so the damage is permanent.”
Tips on Candy Consumption
The bottom line is, sugar is found in many of our favorite everyday drinks and snacks. Before you decide to cut out sugar entirely, Collins recommends moderation.
“The key to all things in life is balance and moderation. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a treat every once in awhile if you maintain a healthy diet and a consistent oral hygiene routine on a daily basis,” he said.
Here are a few tips to keep your teeth healthy when after a treat:
Choosing the Right Candy
Not all candy affects your teeth equally. You may have realized this before when chewing your favorite taffy that became stuck in your teeth for the rest of the day.
The best choice by far is dark chocolate. Studies have shown that it can actually help harden tooth enamel and aid in preventing tooth decay. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should indulge in chocolate all-day, every day. Sugar-free candy and gum are also good choices. Especially those with natural sweeteners. Several studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum after a meal can actually help prevent tooth decay.
The worst candy for your teeth is anything sticky. It’s very difficult to remove all traces of sticky candy from teeth after enjoying them. They become stuck to all the cracks and crevices in the mouth and as they sit on the teeth, the enamel becomes more and more at risk of damage throughout the day. Hard candy is also problematic because it’s easy to chip a tooth while biting down. Another one to stay away from is lollipops. Since the entire philosophy behind a lollipop is to enjoy it for an extended period of time, your teeth are exposed to much more damage than simply eating a small bag of candy quickly.
At the end of the day, there’s no reason not to indulge every once in awhile in your favorite candies. Just be sure to choose wisely and care for your teeth afterward. You only get one adult set, after all.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-368-7788