With Halloween just around the corner, it seems like there is a never-ending supply of candy at school, at the office, and everywhere in between. It's easy to mindlessly munch on something sweet when it's put before you, but all of those tasty treats will eventually take a toll on not just your waistline, but the overall health of your mouth! Candy is a leading culprit in tooth decay, so being mindful of how it and other foods impact the state of your teeth is crucially important in arming yourself to best defend against cavities and decay.
We grew up hearing our mothers tell us to watch the amount of candy we ate, because eventually all of those sweets would rot our teeth. Turns out mom was right about this one! The high amounts of sugar in candy quickly turn into acid in your mouth, and when that acid isn't washed away, it bores into the protective layer of enamel on your teeth. This can eventually cause cavities if you’re not careful. While all sugary candy can be harmful, gummy and chewy candies like toffee and gummy worms are the most dangerous out there because they stick to teeth for hours after you've indulged. To help avoid the damage caused by sugary sweets, brush your teeth immediately after consuming candy or, better yet, opt for a sugar-free version instead.
Soda and other sweetened, carbonated beverages are also known to wreak havoc on teeth. Like their candy counterparts, sodas are full of harmful sugars that can break down your enamel and cause decay. Additionally, carbonated beverages are inherently acidic and the liquid itself starts to damage teeth before the sugar has even gotten to work. Certain juices are highly acidic as well, so it may be time to rethink that morning orange juice if you want to save yourself a filling! Your best bet is to avoid drinks like this altogether, but if you must treat yourself, you can limit the damage caused by sodas and other sugary, acidic drinks by drinking through a straw to avoid carbonated and acidic contact with your teeth.
Foods to Consider
Not all food and drinks are out to harm your teeth! Water will always help to keep your mouth in good health and wash away harmful food particles and bacteria. Likewise, snacks like carrot sticks and celery help to promote saliva production and can even clean your teeth as you chew! It may be difficult this time of year but try to opt for healthier alternatives to candy to help keep your teeth in tip top shape!
It's always important to remember to brush twice daily, floss, and use a mouthwash to keep your mouth in its best condition, but the holiday season is a particularly crucial time for oral health!
If you're worried that your candy intake has harmed your health, or to simply schedule a routine appointment, give us a call at Valley Dental Care in Aurora or Oswego today!