June is National Candy Month. We’re dentists, not monsters. So we don’t expect you to completely avoid candy. It’s not great for your teeth, but there are ways to minimize its detrimental effects. Check out our dentist-approved ways to eat candy:
- Avoid Sticky and Sour Treats – Some candies are more harmful to teeth than others. The worst candies are the ones that have very high amounts of sugar, along with highly acidic candies. Avoid any treats described as sour. Suckers, jawbreakers, and any candy that stays in your mouth for a long time should be avoided, due to their sustained contact with teeth. In addition to their cavity-causing properties, hard and sticky foods are also more likely to chip or otherwise damage teeth.
- Choose Chocolate, Especially With Nuts – Chocolate is a good choice, as it washes away quickly and easily in your mouth. Dark chocolate is especially good, as it contains less sugar than other kinds of chocolate. Nuts can help remove plaque, the bacteria-filled film that results in cavities, from your teeth. They also contain fiber and protein, which are good for you.
- Look for Candy Containing Xylitol – Xylitol is a sweetener that actually inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes cavities. Chewing gum or sucking on candy that contains this ingredient stimulates saliva production, which also helps keep teeth free of decay.
- Consume Candy in a Single Sitting – To limit your exposure to candy, don’t snack on it throughout the day. Instead, pick a treat you can enjoy all at once. So, for example, have it for dessert after a meal. The idea is to get it off your teeth before it can do any lasting damage.
- Wash Sugar Away With Water – Drinking water right after eating candy – or any food – will help wash away cavity-causing substances. Plus, water has lots of other health benefits too.
- Brush, but Not Right Away – Don’t rush to brush your teeth immediately after eating candy. Instead, wait about half an hour. That gives your saliva a chance to wash away the acidic substances that weaken tooth enamel. Brushing teeth too soon can do more harm than good.
Whether or not you eat candy, the best way to keep your teeth in great shape is to visit our Wilton, CT office every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. Call us today at 203-293-2086 to schedule your next visit to Wilton Dental Associates.