It’s obvious why so many children love the holidays. After all, who wouldn’t love a season dedicated to eating huge amounts of candy and sugary sweets. Even parents might indulge in a little extra sugar during the spooky season and beyond. But with all that additional sweetness in our holiday diets, our dental health can start to suffer. So why is candy bad for your teeth, and how can you avoid an uncomfortable trip to the dentist once the sugary festivities are over?
Teeth-Friendly Candy: Myth or Reality?
What’s far worse than being on the naughty list? Getting a cavity drilled after eating too much sugar. But why is candy bad for your teeth?
It all comes down to sugar. This sweet substance feeds plaque-causing bacteria on your teeth, whose excretions lead to cavities and gum disease. So are there any candies that won’t be so hard on your teeth?
What is the Best Candy for Your Teeth?
Finding a candy that’s good for your teeth might seem like wishful thinking. However, some candy is certainly less harmful than others.
Chocolate. Compared to other sweets, chocolate is one of the better options when consumed in moderation. Dark chocolate can even contain antioxidants which offer a few health benefits.
Candy with nuts. When answering the question “why is candy bad for your teeth,” part of the reason is that it’s far too easy to overindulge. Nuts can provide your body with some extra protein to cut the sugar rush and help staunch the craving for even more sweets.
Sugar-free candy. While candy made with sugar substitutes will certainly go easier on your teeth, these substitutes can have other adverse effects on your health. Be sure to choose wisely and consume these candies in moderation.
What is the Worst Candy for Your Teeth?
While most candies will be at least a little unhealthy for your teeth, some treats are far worse than others. When pondering “why is candy bad for teeth,” the answer doesn’t always come down to sugar content. Here are a few candies to try and avoid this season:
Sticky caramels. A chewy, sticky treat might taste delicious, but it can be extra hard on your teeth. Sticky candy will often adhere to enamel and remain there until thoroughly cleaned, meaning that plaque can feast on its sugars for even longer than with other sweets.
Hard candies. While sucking on hard candy is unlikely to be much worse in terms of sugar content, these candies come with a special risk. If you accidentally (or intentionally) bite down on hard candy, you could severely damage your teeth.
Sour candies. These highly acidic treats can wear your enamel down when eaten too frequently. In conjunction with their sugar content, they’re not a great option for your teeth.
Give Your Teeth a Holiday Treat
So why is candy bad for your teeth? It comes down to both its sugar content and its consistency. By picking candies that are less likely to cause physical damage to your teeth or feed cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, you’ll be far less likely to need dental intervention before the end of the year. In addition to using good dental hygiene and proper candy tooth health, scheduling a check-up with your dentist this holiday season will keep your mouth in top shape.