This time of the year, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the pastel packages of chocolate bunnies, gooey marshmallow chicks, and sugary sweet treats of all kinds. At our pediatric dental office in Long Island, we know how difficult it can be to limit your child’s intake of candy, especially during holidays when it’s a common gift. But we’re hoping this year we’ll able to talk a bit about which candies are the worst for teeth so you’ll able to make a smarter choice.
What to Avoid
- Pure Sugar. Any type of candy that’s simply powdery sugar is bad news for teeth. The reason why is pretty straightforward. It’s just sugar. That’s it. And as anyone knows, sugar causes decay. A straight shot of it to the teeth can definitely increase the likelihood of cavities.
- Anything Sticky. Caramels, gummy animals, and taffy are notorious for getting stuck in the grooves of teeth. The longer these sugar-packed treats are left behind, the more likely it is for bacteria to start eating away at the tooth’s enamel. A special note to parents with kids in braces: sticky foods can cause damage to the brackets and wires and require repairs. It’s best to avoid it.
- Super Sour Stuff.Another cavity-causing culprit is acid, and sour candies are loaded with it. Acid erodes the teeth’s protective layer of enamel, making it easier for bacteria to get in the hard-to-reach places, leading to cavities.
- Hard Candies & Lollipops. There are a few reasons these tough little candies cause problems. First, they’re hard, and if someone bites on them too quickly it could result in a chipped or cracked tooth. What also makes your Long Island pediatric dentist cringe is that they usually take quite awhile to eat, which means teeth are being soaked in sugar that whole time.
Choose Something Smarter
We know we’ve eliminated some of the most popular types of candy in our list, but there are other options that are just as tasty and a lot less damaging. When searching for sweets any time of the year, look for:
- Dark Chocolates (bonus if it’s hollow!)
- Sugar-Free Snacks
- Bars Packed with Nuts
A sugary snack is alright every now and then, just try to not over due it. And always remember to guide your little one with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to our Long Island pediatric dental office
at least every six months.