Halloween was on Sunday which probably means your children have a bucket full of candy. You know that candy is bad for your teeth, but do you know why? It’s because your mouth already has plaque bacteria in it, and when you eat candy, the bacteria feed on sugars which then produce acids that attack your enamel. This is what causes tooth decay and cavities.
The best solution for your teeth would be to avoid candy altogether, but what fun is that? Here are some of the candies that are particularly bad for your teeth and why.
Harmful Candies for Your Teeth
Chewy candy is known as the worst of the worst. It sticks to your teeth, giving the bacteria more time to feed on the sugars and attack your enamel. You have to be more intentional about your brushing and flossing to rid your mouth of these candies, which is sometimes difficult for children. So, add chewy candies like caramel, bubble gum, gummies, and taffy to the “do not eat” list.
Crunching down on hard candy can be very bad for your teeth. On top of the sugar, it can cause cracking or chipping. They also raise the acidity in your mouth, causing cavities. Hard candies, like Lollipops or Jolly Ranchers, also often last a long time to finish, so your teeth are coated in sugar for an extended period of time.
Like hard candy, the acidity in sour candies alone causes these candies to make the list. In addition, sour candies tend to be sticky as well.
What You Can Do To Help
Avoid All Day Exposure
After Halloween, it’s easy, even for adults, to constantly snack on candy throughout the day simply because it’s there. This just prolongs the amount of time your teeth are exposed to harmful sugars. Try to just eat a couple of pieces after lunch or after dinner.
Brush and Floss
After eating candy, it’s best to brush and floss your teeth as soon as possible. This way, you get rid of as much sugar as you can before it has a chance to sit on your teeth and cause decay. Also, consider a mouthwash to further eliminate plaque, sugar, and acid from your teeth.
Sometimes you can’t get to your toothbrush right away, so drink water to help wash away some of the sugars. It keeps your teeth from sitting in a sugar coating.
Pick an Alternative
There are a couple of alternatives to the candies listed above. The first is chocolate. Chocolate isn’t necessarily good for your teeth as it’s still full of sugar, but it dissolves quickly in your mouth and doesn’t have a lasting effect. Even better, try dark chocolate because it has less sugar. Another option is sugar-free candy or gum. This eliminates sugars in general.
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