Easter egg hunts are just one time of year many us over indulge in candy. Of course, there’s something irresistible about candy — be it chocolate or hard. Either sweet or sour, it’s rewarding and we all know that chocolate sets off certain things in our brains. But, we also know that candy is bad for our teeth.
From the time we’re old enough to have it, we’re told time and time again it’s bad for us — and not just for our teeth. This isn’t an old wives tale. Sugar is harmful in more ways than one. (Of course, it does have limited benefits.) But why is candy so harmful to your teeth?
Here’s How Sugar Affects Your Teeth
The human mouth contains literally hundreds of bacteria, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research or NICDR. Most of these are beneficial to our oral health (which is why these exist in the first place). But, some oral bacteria is bad.
Everyone knows eating too much sugar can lead to tooth decay, but few are aware of exactly how that happens. It’s not the sugar itself that does the damage, but rather the chain of events that takes place after you eat that piece of cake. Your children may be more inclined to heed your warnings about the effects of sugar on teeth if they know about the continuous tug-of-war taking place inside their mouths. — Colgate.com
This is because that “bad” oral bacteria thrives on sugars. These interactions help to create destructive enamel acids. Meaning these wear away the enamel — the covering which protects your teeth. When enough wear occurs, a hole develops in the tooth — otherwise readily known as a cavity. So, cavities are actually a bacterial infection. And, since candy includes a lot of sugar, it’s bad for your teeth. The 3 Best Candies for Your Teeth Although candy is generally bad for your teeth, there are types which are less harmful. (No candy is harmless to your teeth.)
Here are three candies with some benefits:
- Dark chocolate. One of the most beloved, dark chocolate is known for its decadent flavor. And, dark chocolate contains two helpful things: an enamel-hardening compound and antibacterias. According to several studies, that compound does appear to help harden tooth enamel. While the antibacterials actually help to fight off and reduce plaque.
- Sugarless gum and candy. As the name implies, these are sugar-free (mostly). They are less destructive to your teeth because they contain little to no sugar. However, other ingredients are bad for your teeth, so it’s not a panacea.
- Nut-filled candy bars. Okay, many nuts contain protein, something your body definitely needs. But, surrounded by chocolate makes candy bars a no-no for your teeth. Although, the nuts to help to fight the stickiness (which in-part, causes cavities).
The 3 Worst Candies for Your Teeth
Of course, there are candies which have no benefits at all for your teeth.
These include the following:
- Sticky candy. Basically, any candy that’s sticky is bad. It’s the very fact these stick to your teeth which makes them so bad. Since they stick to your teeth, they have more time to do more damage.
- Lollipops. Even worse are lollipops because these not only stick to your teeth, but are hard. That’s double the damage and a good amount of sugar, to boot.
- Gummy bears, worms, and more. These contain high levels of acidity, along with sugar.
Keeping your smile healthy well into the future starts with creating healthy at-home habits followed by regular visits to our Kansas City Dentist twice a year. To learn more about your treatment options, call Drake Family Dentistry to schedule your next cleaning and examination.