It’s that time of year again! People young and old overindulge on candy, satisfying their sweet tooth cravings. Although “sweet tooth” is a common saying, it could spell disaster for your oral health. You’ve probably always heard that candy is bad for your teeth, but thought nothing of it and scoffed at it. Learn why candy is so detrimental to your oral health, and consider implementing these tips to help protect your family this Halloween.
Why Candy Is Bad For Your Teeth
Your mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. Although that sounds gross, some of these bacteria are good and are necessary to keep your mouth clean. But on the contrary, there are also some bad bacteria.
One of the main ingredients in candy is sugar. When you eat candy, the sugar serves as a breeding ground for the harmful bacteria. A byproduct of the harmful bacteria is an acid that erodes the enamel-coating on your teeth. Once the enamel is gone, your teeth become even more exposed and susceptible to harmful bacteria. This is how cavities form. To put it simply, the more candy you eat, the more susceptible you are to cavities.
What’s The Worst Candy To Have?
If you’re still craving candy after reading the above, then you should at least be smart about which candy you choose. A general rule of thumb is that the sticker or chewier the candy, the worse it is for you. Gummy candies, caramel apples, and taffy should all be avoided in the coming weeks. This is because stickier candy is more likely to get stuck in hard-to-reach places between your teeth, acting as a magnet for the harmful bacteria that expediates tooth decay.
Sour candies should also be avoided, but for different reasons. Warheads, Sour Skittles, and other similar candies are highly acidic, which means they break down tooth enamel.
Although avoiding all candy is the most preventative measure available, that’s probably not feasible. There’s a good chance you and your children indulge in at least a few pieces of candy after going trick-or-treating on Long Island. If you do, take these steps to help minimize the impact the sugary treats will have.
- Stay Hydrated – Keeping your mouth hydrated encourages the production of saliva. Saliva works to wash away bad bacteria. If you are eating candy while on the go, try to swish some water around to help wash away leftover sugars.
- Don’t Enjoy Candy On Its Own – When you eat a meal, you increase your saliva production. So, if you enjoy candy as a dessert, the saliva will already be flowing freely.
- Brush As Soon As Possible – If you can, brush immediately after eating. Brushing removes bacteria and leftover food.
- Visit Your Dentist – After the candy season, a visit to your local Long Island dentist is a sure way to keep your teeth clean and free of cavities!