You might think that dentists dislike Halloween candy. Not wanting to be a “Doug-or-Debbie-Downer,” your children (and you) can enjoy your treats and candy cravings without destroying your teeth.
Again, we’re not only applying-the-brakes to your kids seasonal candy cravings. According to a survey conducted by Delta Dental, 80% of parents confess to eating their children’s Halloween candy “haul.”
Let’s get one thing straight
Sugar is unhealthy for your teeth and gums. But what’s often mistaken is why.
Sure, some candies and sugar heavy treats are more damaging than others. Here’s an important perspective:
The length of time your teeth are exposed to sugar is the issue. Bacteria thrive on the sugar that’s left behind on your tooth surfaces. The longer they feed the more acids they produce increasing your risk of decay and cavities.
Time on your side
It’s safe to say that you can indulge your “sweet tooth.” But timing will help you protect your teeth and gum tissue.
For example, enjoy small portions of candy at limited or specific times.
- After meals
- As a dessert
- At designated snack times
The key is not allowing you and your children’s candy cravings to run amok without watching the “clock,” so to speak.
Timing is important if and when sugar is consumed. And you’ll help reduce the risk to your teeth if you brush and rinse with water following candy consumption.
None is best, less is good, some are better than others
Go sugar-free if possible
Oral bacteria won’t feed as effectively if sugar is absent. Gum and candy that contain xylitol are tasty. They can help protect your teeth by reducing the acids that accumulate and by producing more saliva that rinses away remaining sugars.
Indulge your chocolate craving
Chocolate can dissolve more quickly in your mouth than other sugar heavy sweets. This reduces the amount of time the sugar remains on your teeth. Be aware that any sticky substances within your chocolate favorites (caramel, nougat, etc.) increases the time it stays on your teeth.
Be aware of those with “staying power”
Remember, those sugars that stick around cause damage. Chewy caramels or gummy type candies adhere to your teeth and give bacteria more advantage.
Hard candy can do the same. It has the added risk of dissolving more slowly and biting into it can chip or break your tooth.
It’s the season to enjoy your favorite treats. If you do, follow a more disciplined approach to assuring your oral health doesn’t suffer.
Contact our Roswell dental office with your questions about tooth care for you and your family. Schedule your next oral examination and teeth cleaning to help assure your teeth and gums are healthy.