We have all heard that we should avoid sugary foods if we want to have healthy teeth, but not all sugars and candies are created equal. Some sweets are less harmful to the teeth, and some are actually beneficial!
THE BETTER CHOICES…
Chocolate: Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy. And dark chocolate is a better choice as it has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Candies with Nuts: The protein and fiber in these candies are good for both your dental and overall health, and the nuts help break up stickiness left over from the candy. Candy bars made with dark chocolate and nuts are healthier than candy bars that are filled with milk chocolate and creams.
Sugar-free Candies and Gum: These actually can be GOOD for your teeth if the sugarless candies or gum are made with sugar substitutes like xylitol, which helps prevent cavities. Research shows that chewing sugar-free gum after meals stimulates saliva production, washing away cavity causing bacteria, and xylitol prevents decay-causing bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
THE WORST CHOICES…
Sour Candy: Sour candies are very acidic, and that acidity can weaken and damage the enamel of the teeth making them more susceptible to cavities.
Sticky, Gummy or Gooey: This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work. Sticky candy tends to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth, and the longer the candy sticks around, the longer the teeth are exposed to the sugar so that cavities are more likely to form.
Hard Candy: Hard sweets like lollipops or small jawbreakers take a while to eat leaving teeth exposed to sugar for a long time. And biting into hard candies can cause the teeth to chip or break.
So the next time your sweet tooth is calling, choose a nutty piece of dark chocolate or some xylitol gum instead of taffy, sour gummies, or a jawbreaker…unless you just truly enjoy visiting your dentist more often!