Many of us have a sweet tooth and are sometimes compelled to enjoy candy. There is good news and bad news when it comes to our favorite treats. Below is a list of candies from least destructive to worst when it comes to their effect on your teeth. Keep in mind that sugar feeds the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Dark Chocolate is by far the best candy for your teeth. Chocolate contains compounds that actually helps strengthen tooth enamel. Compounds in cocoa beans also have an antibacterial effect that helps combat plaque.
Real Black Licorice also contains a compound that balances your oral ecosystem, and activates bacteria fighting saliva.
Sugarless Gum containing Xylitol is approved by the ADA and can help reduce acids and sugars in your mouth and on your teeth after eating and drinking.
Sugarless Candy often contain stevia, and this is a good, natural alternative to cavity promoting sugar.
Nut Bars have protein and fiber to help break up the sticky film that coats teeth when eating candy. The adhesiveness of a candy also contributes to the risk of cavities.
Sticky Candies like caramel and even fruit rollups (and dried fruit) are terrible for your dental health due to their tendency to stay attached to the teeth and hide in between them as well. Some sticky candies can also pull out older fillings.
Lollipops are one of the worst because they are meant to be kept in your mouth for a prolonged amount of time, giving the cavity causing bacteria a chance to multiple greatly in your mouth. Avoid suckers and if you do decide to treat yourself, be sure to brush and floss as soon as possible afterward.
Gummies have the most acid of any candy. This acid wears down your tooth’s hard protective exterior. Gummed candies both add to the bacteria that causes tooth decay and damages the enamel. This can cause both cavities and chips in your teeth. Worn enamel can also expose the nerves in your teeth, causing sensitivity to cold and hot liquids and foods.
Tip: After enjoying a sweet treat make sure to rinse your mouth with water immediately after if you cannot brush and floss right away.
For more information on keeping your teeth healthy and to schedule a consultation, call Park Slope Family Dental today!