‘Tis the Season for Sugary, Chewy, Sticky Candy

‘Tis the Season for Sugary, Chewy, Sticky Candy

How To Protect Your Teeth During the Holiday Season with Glenpool Dentistry

During the holidays, we stuff ourselves with food, desserts, and candy without the slightest bit of self control. From Halloween to New Year’s Eve, we probably eat more candy in those three months than the rest of the year combined. Sugary, chewy candy is a staple during the holiday season with Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. Don’t even get us started on Easter. 

Whether it’s the waxy orange and yellow candy corn for fall or peppermint candy canes for Christmas, your teeth are under attack by the sugary treats we love so much during the holidays. 

The saying: “If it tastes good, it must be bad for you” applies to candy more than any other food.  Candy tastes amazing but is bad for your teeth. It starts off slow but when the damage is done to your teeth, the enamel doesn’t come back. Then, it is up to the dentist to fix the damage done by filling any cavities, or performing root canals or extractions. We’re going to explore what you can do to help your children enjoy the holiday season while staying out of the dentist’s office.

Where Do Cavities Come From?

Cavities are a result of tooth decay, and they permanently damage areas that result in tiny holes on the tooth. Sugar is the main culprit in decay, and candy is packed full of sugar. Cavities aren’t created by sugar, but sugar creates the perfect condition in your mouth that cavities love. The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, but some bacteria are crucial in maintaining good oral health. And of course, some bacteria are just bad for your teeth. 

When you eat sugary candy, the harmful bacteria feeds off of the sugar which creates acid that can erode tooth enamel. If a cavity is left untreated, it only gets worse and worse and if it gets bad enough the tooth could be removed. You can’t reverse the erosion of tooth decay, but dentists have preventative measures that can fill the cavity and stop the decay in its tracks.   

What is the Worst Candy for Teeth?

On the surface, it seems like all candy is bad for you, but there are some types of candy that are worse than others. Chewy, sticky candy is No. 1 on the list, and that includes gummies, taffy, and hard, sticky candy. 

Chewy, sticky candy can get stuck between the teeth, and saliva can’t reach the sugary material to break it down. The candy stays between the teeth, causing decay. This is the worst type of candy for tooth decay. Hard, sticky candy like Jolly Ranchers and chewy candy like Skittles are two of the worst because the highly acidic nature of the candy breaks down tooth enamel on its own. It shouldn’t stick to the teeth for any period of time.  

Whether it’s your kid’s Halloween candy or treats from their Christmas stocking, nearly everyone is going to eat candy during the holidays. That’s just a fact of life. However, not all candy is “bad,” and there are ways to minimize its impact on your oral health. 

How Can You Help Prevent Tooth Decay While Eating Candy?

We know that people are going to eat candy, but there are some ways to slow down or neutralize the bacteria that causes tooth decay. Here are some suggestions for keeping your teeth healthy during the holiday season. 

Brush Your Teeth

This is a dentist’s favorite saying because it’s important. By brushing your teeth immediately after eating any food or candy, you brush away enamel-eating bacteria. But there are limitations. When you eat acidic candy, brushing after is more damaging to tooth enamel than not brushing. So, be careful when you brush your teeth after eating candy. Make sure you don’t eat any acidic candy before brushing. 

Eat Candy With Meals

When candy is eaten after or during a meal, it’s best for oral health. When eating a meal, saliva production increases which eliminates acids while washing away food particles. 

Drink Water

Water can be an equalizer. When drinking water after eating candy, you can minimize some of the harmful effects of sugar, and it can help prevent tooth decay. If your children can’t brush their teeth after eating candy, have them swish water in their mouths to break loose any food particles and minimize the potential damage from the bacteria.   

Dental Checkup

Never skip or put off a dental checkup. Make sure you schedule an appointment with Glenpool Dentistry for you and your child’s next cleaning. 

Scheduling an appointment with Glenpool Dentistry is easy. Call us at 918-322-5553 or email us at info@glenpooldentistry.com. We are located at 464 E. 141st Street, Glenpool OK., 74033.