This is a time of year filled with special treats – including candies for holiday stockings. It’s OK to indulge, as long as you scale back again after the holidays. But you should make smart choices when and where you can. Some candy is especially hard on teeth, while other varieties won’t make much of a dent in your dental health.
No matter which kinds of treats you eat, stick to daily brushing and flossing. If you’re due for an exam, call us today at 559-608-3533 to schedule one in our Visalia, CA office. You may also want to consider preventive treatments like dental sealants and fluoride to help protect your smile.
In the meantime, check out our list of naughty and nice candies:
- Say No to Sour Treats – Don’t eat anything with sour in its name, like Sour Patch Kids or sour worms. Sour candy is doubly damaging because it contains two ingredients that are bad for teeth: sugar and acids.
- Pass Up the Sticky Stuff – Gummies, caramels, and candy canes stick to your teeth and get into hidden spots where they are hard to remove. So they are a bad choice for your smile.
- Watch Out for Time Consuming Candies – The time sugar is in contact with your teeth is more impactful than the amount of sugar you eat.The longer it’s there, the more damage it can do. So skip long-lasting treats like candy canes and suckers. Similarly, if you want to have a soda or other sugary drink, finish it quickly. Don’t sip on it for several hours.
- Go Ahead and Have Chocolate – If you like chocolate, you’re in luck. It’s one of the best candy options for your smile. The heat of your mouth melts it so it easily washes away from your teeth. Dark chocolate and chocolate with nuts provide other health benefits
- Sugar-Free Treats Are Fine – As you might expect, sugar-free treats are a good choice. Sucking on hard candies without sugar encourages saliva to flow, and so does chewing sugar-free gum. Saliva helps fight cavities by rinsing away harmful substances. Chewing the gum may even help dislodge bits of food. Products that contain xylitol will give you an added decay-fighting boost.