It’s September and Halloween candy is already lining the shelves of stores across the country. Although we have known for years that candy equals cavities, your child will most likely end up eating it whether you allow them to or not. Instead of fighting an uphill battle you are sure to lose, we’ve provided a list of candy that is less harmful and ones to avoid.
The Safest Candy for Your Kid’s Teeth
Sugar-free Candy: This seems like an easy answer, because sugar is the main culprit of cavities among children. That’s because sugar triggers the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Avoiding large amounts of sugar is key for avoiding tooth decay. Another benefit of sugar-free candy is that some of them stimulate saliva production, allowing the mouth to wash itself clean of bacteria and plaque. You should still limit intake of these candies, as many sugar-free candies have substitutes that are bad for your mouth in other ways.
Chocolate: Chocolate is considered to be the best candy for teeth overall. Thankfully it is also the most popular candy and can be found in many desserts. Why is this? Chocolate is easier to wash off of teeth, so it is far less likely to stick around and leave cavities or other types of damage. Dark chocolate is the best because it contains less sugar. In fact, some studies have suggested that dark chocolate contains compounds that can help harden tooth enamel. So, when you’re given a choice, always go dark.
Candy with Nuts: Candy and its sugar sticks to your teeth, thus causing the cavities everyone wants to avoid. Having nuts, however, breaks up the stickiness. This largely decreases the chance of receiving cavities from candy. The crunching can also break up plaque. Overall, adding nuts keeps the sugar from sticking to teeth.
The Least Safe Candy for Your Kid’s Teeth
Sour Candy: Although not as common around Halloween, sour candy poses a significant amount of danger for your teeth. Not only is it acidic, but most of these candies are coated in sugar. We know that sugar lingers and causes cavities, however, the acidity breaks down tooth enamel and leaves teeth more prone to damage such as tooth decay. It is also recommended to wait 30 minutes before brushing, otherwise you are simply pushing the chemicals into your teeth.
Sticky Candy: Sticky candy is one of the worst ones for your teeth. They get stuck in the crevices and linger, allowing tooth decay at a rapid rate. It also contains a lot of sugar, making it just as bad as any other candy you should avoid. The length of sugar exposure is directly proportional to dental health, so if you can, avoid eating these at all costs.
Hard Candy: Due to its makeup, hard candy is meant to stay in the mouth longer than other candies, further exposing teeth to its sugar and chemicals. Your saliva fills with the sugar as you suck, coating your teeth for the entirety of the time you consume it. More exposure means more risk of cavities. These can also break or chip your teeth if you bite down on them.
If you still have questions or need to talk to us about your child’s candy consumption, feel free to reach out to us. We are always available and happy to help! Click here to contact our office.