At an early age, we are often told, “Candy is bad for our teeth,” which is true if we eat too much candy. This is because consuming excess amounts of sugar is likely to lead to tooth decay, or cavities. While the mouth is filled with hundreds of good bacteria that help our mouths to maintain a healthy environment, there are also harmful bacteria that consume the sugars you eat, which creates acids. The acids tend to eat away at the tooth enamel (the protective layer of the teeth) and cause decay to occur as a result.
Are some candies worse than others?
In Richmond, Virginia you can find sugary candy almost anywhere. A grocery store like Kroger, a gas station lik Sheetz or the local WalMart or Target. Generally, any candy, since it contains sugar, can be detrimental to our teeth, but sticky candies are particularly bad. The stickiness of the candy is the largest issue since these candies tend to stay on the teeth longer than other kinds of candies. Sometimes, the sticky bits may even get stuck in-between the crevices of our teeth, which isn’t good for our teeth either. This is especially true if teeth are not brushed twice daily and there is no flossing or WaterPik routine. If children are out on a camping trip or away from home and they each candy all day, there is a strong likelihood they are not going to brush or floss which allows that sugar and acids to sit on their teeth for even longer.
While there are other sticky candies out there, some of the worst are as follows:
If you can, try to avoid or limit the above candies as much as possible.
What you can do:
While refraining is your best option, if you do continue to eat any sticky candies or allow children to eat sticky candies, It is recommended that you brush your teeth immediately after to make certain that there aren’t any bits of candy left on the teeth. For the difficult bits of candy left between the teeth, do not use any sharp objects that could puncture the gums in the process. Instead, floss, a WaterPik or dental picks can help to get rid of the more stubborn pieces remaining.
If you happen to be in a position where a toothbrush isn’t close by, try swishing with warm water to flush out any bits of candy that may be remaining on the teeth. Our dental friends in Harrisburg, NC have told us on numerous occasions that children going to Carolina Panthers football games are susceptible to sticky candies staying on their teeth for an extended period of time.
With cotton candy, Skittles, Starburst and chocolate candy bars being prevalent in the Panthers Stadium, and in most sports stadiums and arenas, children are tempted to “snack” on sugary foods during the entire game. Then then get home tired after a long day and immediately go to bed without brushing or flossing. This is a cause for concern as candy could be stuck to their teeth all night.
We understand that it’s hard to refrain from eating some of your favorite candies, but try your best to think of your teeth from here on out!
If you’d like more information about other foods that are harmful to the teeth, please contact River Run Dental Spa today. We have dental offices convenience located in Richmond, Midlothian and Short Pump, Virginia.