Cautious Choices in Confectionery

Candy Culprits

Cautious Choices in Confectionery

One of the main ways Americans like to celebrate their holidays is with eating, but especially with candies! You might immediately think of October as the biggest candy-eating month, and we agree. However, November offers candied yams, December has candy canes, February is full of chocolate candies, and Spring blossoms with jellybeans and candy eggs, rabbits and ducklings. What about the summer? Ice cream, popsicles and milkshakes — though they may not technically be candy, they have just as much sugar. At the Yuba City Dentistry group, we understand that enjoying candy is a part of American life, but eating candy too often leads to tooth decay, which is typically accompanied by gum disease, pain, and tooth loss,

Candy Culprits

Certain kinds of confections are more damaging to your teeth than others. Here are three types of candy that are best to stay away from, for the sake of your teeth.

Sour Candy — These get a resurgence of popularity every school year. Youngsters challenge each other to stand up to “the puckering”? While this challenge is likely safer than a hot pepper challenge, the strong acids used to produce the sour effect severely erode tooth enamel. Children with baby teeth or new permanent teeth are especially vulnerable to decay. So, it doesn’t matter if you like the taste or are trying to test your mettle — it’s best to refrain from eating sour candies.

Gummy or Sticky Candy — Nougat, taffy, gummy bears, and caramel are all good examples of delicious, sticky candy. However, that’s their biggest problem — they’re sticky! That means they stick to your teeth long after you swallow. As the remaining bits stick on your teeth, the bacteria in your mouth consumes that residue, creating plaque and bad breath particles as well as eating away at your tooth enamel. Eventually, your tooth develops holes, and we call those holes cavities, caries or decay. And trying to fill those holes with nougat or taffy is never a good idea.

Hard Candy — Sucking on candy for long periods of time is like bathing your teeth in sugarcoated saliva. Instead of rinsing the sugar away from your teeth, your saliva ends up spreading it around, washing the bacteria in your mouth with their favorite form of energy. Not only that, but if your teeth are already compromised, trying to chomp on hard candies could lead to chipped or broken teeth. After all, there’s a reason some of them are called “jawbreakers.”

Also, keep in mind that refraining from these types of candies does not mean you’re missing out on anything. Just take a walk down the “sweets” aisle at your favorite market, and you’ll see an enormous variety of other treats you can enjoy in moderation. For instance, dark chocolate isn’t as harmful to teeth, and is believed to have specific health benefits.

If a hankering for sour, sticky, or hard candies is hard to avoid, make sure to first rinse your mouth with water shortly after enjoying them to get as much sugar and acid off your teeth as possible. Also, brush and floss your teeth about thirty minutes thereafter. The main thing to remember is that your teeth are more important than any kind of candy! If you’d like more tips and pointers on what candies to avoid, which are not as damaging, or even what candies we ourselves enjoy, please give the Yuba City Dentistry Group a call or schedule an appointment online to discuss the subject. We’re happy to help you enjoy your candy with a smile!

 

Yuba City Dentistry
ernst@gfxservices.com
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