From Halloween to Christmas stockings, Valentine’s chocolates to Easter baskets – it almost feels impossible to avoid candy, even though you know it’s damaging to your teeth. For all our dentist in Fuquay Varina stresses minimizing sugar, we also know that most of us don’t want to give up sweet treats. Fortunately, you don’t have to – we’re sharing the best candy options that do minimal harm (or none at all!) as well as the worst candy for your dental health you should avoid.
The 3 Best Candies for Your Dental Health
First, let’s start with the good news – the best candies you can choose to minimize damage to your dental health.
Sugar Free Gum
Sugar free gum, especially the kind sweetened with xylitol, is the best option when you want something a bit sweet. Not only does it not contain sugar that can feed bacteria and produce enamel-damaging acids, it actually boosts saliva production. This keeps your teeth rinsed of particles and debris, and improves your dental health.
Sugar free hard candy does offer some similar benefits, though crunching on hard candy can damage enamel over time.
While chocolate does contain sugar, what makes this a good option is that it rinses away easily. Chocolate doesn’t cling to the teeth like many candies do, so if you follow eating a piece of chocolate by drinking water, you’re able to minimize the sugar exposure.
Dark chocolate is especially beneficial because not only is it lower in sugar, it also contains compounds that can harden your enamel.
Candy with Nuts
Chocolate or other candies that have peanuts, almonds, or other nuts can also be a better option. Think of nuts as a way to pause or break up sugar within the candy, and as you chew nuts, they can actually scrub or break up the plaque or film on teeth. Plus, nuts can provide a nutritional boost that you may not get from most other candies.
The 3 Worst Candies for Your Teeth
Now that you know what to reach for, make sure you steer clear of these dental health detriments that may be lurking in your candy dish.
Caramels and Sticky Candy
Unlike chocolates or sugar free gum, sticky candy clings to your teeth for long periods of time, often hours. This gives any bacteria in your mouth ample time to feed on the sugar, which produces acid that damages enamel. Often, drinking water doesn’t remove the sticky residue, and brushing and flossing is the best option.
Hard candy and lollipops fall under the same problems as sticky candy because the length of time you’re exposing your teeth t the sugar is the problem. You may enjoy a Tootsie Roll pop for 30 minutes or longer plus the sugar can linger on for hours after that whereas a Hershey’s miniature bar may be gone in a minute and traces of it gone soon after.
Sour candy, like Sour Patch Kids or gummy worms do double damage. First, they’re sticky and cling to the teeth, but they’re also high in acidity which wears down protective enamel and leads to decay.
Schedule a Checkup with our Dentist in Fuquay Varina
If you enjoy eating candy, it’s important to make sure your teeth are in good health. Make an appointment with our family dentist today by using the form below or calling (919) 552-2431 to request your appointment.