Candy is a cultural tradition at Halloween. If you have children, odds are good that they’ll come home with an overflow of sweets ready for consumption. But what’s the best way to manage their candy intake, and are some types of candy worse for teeth than others?
A key thing to remember is that how often sugar is consumed is a bigger problem than how much. The saliva in your mouth is designed to neutralize the acid created by sugars, but it takes up to an hour for this to happen. If kids are constantly eating candy, their teeth won’t have a chance to naturally recover from the sugar attack.
Here are some tips for safe candy consumption:
- Don’t suck on hard candy for too long; it will bathe your teeth with plaque acids that continue attacking your teeth for 20-40 minutes after you finish.
- Eat candy quickly, instead of nibbling over a long period of time. What counts is how long sweets are in the mouth, and the frequency that your teeth are exposed to them.
- If you can’t brush right away, rinse your teeth with water after eating candy. However, don’t brush after eating sour candy, since this can remove some of the already softened enamel on your teeth.
Because of its high acid content, sour candy is probably the worst culprit when it comes to increasing your chances of tooth decay. If you or your child has braces, you should also filter out sticky and tacky candies that can wreak havoc with brackets and bands.
Chocolate is actually the best Halloween candy choice for your teeth, since it melts quickly in your mouth, limiting your teeth’s exposure to harmful sugars. Additionally, recent studies have shown that cocoa can actually help reduce gum inflammation.
If you have more questions about the best way to monitor your family’s candy intake this Halloween, please contact Dr. Rudman and the experienced Denver orthodontic team at Advanced Orthodontic Care today.