Most holiday stockings will contain some candy. We’re dentists, so we wouldn’t mind seeing some dental floss in there too! Still, special treats are OK as long as you don’t overdo it. But you should avoid the bad candies and choose ones that are better for your smile. Fortunately, it’s not too hard.
No matter what kind of treats you eat, make sure you continue to brush and floss your teeth every day. If it’s been six months or more since your last exam and cleaning, go ahead and schedule a visit. You may also want to consider preventive services like dental sealants and fluoride for added protection against cavities.
In the meantime, check out our list of bad candies and better ones:
- Sticky Stuff – The problem with sticky candies like gummies, caramels, and taffy is how tough they can be to remove from teeth. They also get into hidden areas, like your back molars and in between teeth. This makes them a bad choice for your dental health.
- Sour Candy – Even worse than sticky treats are sour ones. They contain high amounts of sugars and acids, two substances that are both very damaging to teeth. Acids actually eat into your tooth enamel. Pass on any candies with sour in their name, like Sour Patch Kids or sour worms.
- Time-Consuming Treats – The time sugar spends on your teeth is more important than the amount of sugar you consume. The longer it remains, the more problems it can cause. Skip treats that take a long time to eat like suckers, jawbreakers, and even candy canes. The same rule applies to sugary drinks. If you have a soda, drink it quickly instead of sipping on it over an hour or two.
- Chocolate – If you like chocolate, feel free to indulge. Treats like chocolate kisses and candy bars melt rapidly in your mouth and wash easily away from your teeth. This makes them one of your best candy choices. Plus, dark chocolate and chocolate with nuts offer some added health benefits.
- Sugar-Free Gum and Candy – There are sugar-free varieties of almost every kind of candy, and most of them are pretty tasty. They’re obviously better for your teeth than treats that contain sugar. Sucking on sugar-free hard candies or chewing sugar-free gum also encourages saliva to flow, which helps fight decay. For even more cavity-fighting power, choose products with xylitol.
When it comes to candy, or other dietary choices, our dentists are happy to offer advice. Just ask next time you visit! Request an appointment online or call 919-823-6967 to schedule your next visit to Preston Dental Center in Cary, NC.