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What Kinds of Candy Are the Most Damaging to Teeth?

October 14, 2020

What Kinds of Candy Are the Most Damaging to Teeth?

Most children find candy irresistible, which unfortunately increases the risk of damage to their teeth. However, sweets are not equal in terms of the harm they inflict on your child’s oral health. Some pose less of a threat than others, so it’s important to know the types of candy that are most detrimental to your child’s smile and health.

How Do Cavities Develop?

The human mouth is filled with bacteria, most of which are harmless. However, sugary treats provide an abundant food supply for cavity-causing bacteria, which, after feasting, produce acids that erode the tooth enamel, forming holes known as cavities that worsen over time if left untreated.

What Types of Candy Are the Most Damaging to Teeth?

The worst types of candy are the chewy, gummy, or sticky ones, which get stuck between your child’s teeth and in the grooves and crevices of the chewing surfaces of the premolars and molars. However hard your child brushes, the sticky material is almost impossible to remove, leaving the teeth susceptible to bacteria and acid attacks.

Sour candy is not much better for your child’s oral health. It is highly acidic, leaving your tooth enamel weaker and more vulnerable to cavities. Hard candies are also harmful. They contain high levels of sugar that promote bacteria activity in the mouth. Moreover, biting down on a jawbreaker or a lollipop can break or fracture a tooth, allowing bacteria to enter the inner parts, wreaking havoc on your child’s oral health.

What Are Better Candy Choices?

While it’s best to limit any candy, some types pose less of a threat to your child’s oral health. These include chocolate, especially dark chocolate, which melts away quickly and is easy to rinse or brush off. Dark chocolate is rich in calcium and is relatively low in sugar levels. Furthermore, it is made from cocoa beans, which contain compounds that fight bacteria and plaque. So dark chocolate is a go-to choice if your child has the urge to enjoy a sweet treat.

Sugar-free chewing gum sweetened with xylitol is also a good choice for your child’s smile. In fact, the chewing action increases saliva production, which helps rinse bacteria and food debris away. Moreover, xylitol is a natural sweetener that neutralizes acid-producing bacteria.

Tips on Maintaining Your child’s Healthy Smile

If you have to give your child a sweet treat, do so right after a meal instead of snacking throughout the day. That reduces the amount of time the sugar stays in contact with your little one’s teeth, limiting the harm. Moreover, the saliva produced during a meal helps counter the effects of consuming candy.

Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day and flosses daily. However, avoid doing so right after eating candy, which increases the harmful effects of the acid. Instead, have your child rinse thoroughly and wait at least an hour before brushing. Better yet, consider trading candy for healthy treats, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, or nuts, and make sure to encourage your child to drink plenty of water.

It’s important to schedule your child’s twice-a-year dental visits at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. We will clean your child’s teeth and conduct a thorough examination to evaluate your child’s oral health. We may recommend preventive procedures such as fluoride treatment or dental sealants, or restorative procedures such as dental fillings if needed.

Quality Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ

Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about keeping your child’s smile healthy and free of disease. Our kid-friendly team is proud to offer outstanding preventive and restorative services for long-term healthy smiles. Call us and schedule your appointment today!