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Holiday Candy Season… Survival Guide

Halloween has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the candy season. There are plenty of opportunities to imbibe sweets—both of the candy and pastry/cookie variety—throughout the next few months. And while those sweets are delicious and fun, there are many reasons to either consume in moderation or, in some cases, avoid some sweets entirely. Here’s why…

Sugar is an enemy to teeth, but it’s not the sugar, it’s the bacteria which feed on the sugar. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar, probably even more than you do, and as bacteria consume sugar they produce a weak acid that harms teeth. That acid is the cause of cavities.

If You’re Gonna Eat Candy Then Eat…

Chocolate! In moderation chocolate is one of the better types of candy for your teeth (there is absolutely NO candy that is actually good for your teeth). The reason? Because chocolate washes from the teeth. Some types of candies form a film or remain sticky, but chocolate can be washed away by saliva and water. But that isn’t to say that there is no damage done: the bacteria are still provided sugar and the teeth should be cleaned. And if you’re going to eat chocolate, then know that most brands of non-milk chocolate are lower in overall sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky and Gummy (Candy, Carmel Apples, and the Like).

Try to stay away from sweet treats that are sticky or gummy. These types of sweets are more difficult to remove–some hardier-types can hide between the teeth even after a vigorous brushing (for instance, if you are going to consume popcorn balls you should floss immediately because some of the kernels can become tightly wedged between the teeth)—and the long length of time it takes to dissolve or remove the sugar from the mouth gives the bacteria more time to consume the sugars and produce harmful acids.

Have a wonderful start to the holiday season, and enjoy the sweet treats, but remember to enjoy them in moderation, and to clean your teeth whenever possible.

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