With your kids’ trick or treat loot still piling up in your cupboards (unless they’ve gone through it all already of course) and the holiday season having started, you should be able to survive on a candy staple diet for months to come. Doing this won’t be too great for your teeth though. While having a bit of candy now and then is not that bad, you want to limit your intake and preferably choose candy that’s least harmful for your oral health. To keep your children’s and your own teeth safe, we’ve listed the least harmful candy you can eat below. That way you don’t have to deny your children (and yourself) candy completely.
While dark chocolate still contains sugar, which bad mouth bacteria feed on, it doesn’t contain nearly as much sugar as milk chocolate does, and actually has been shown to have several health benefits. Several studies indicate that dark chocolate is good for your heart and brain, and can help protect against type 2 diabetes. Dark chocolate is also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It further contains theobromine, which has been shown to actually harden tooth enamel, lowering chances of developing cavities. Make sure that you don’t get dark chocolates with sugary fillings (like caramel), because these are just as bad as milk chocolate, or even worse. Try to get chocolate that has at least 70% cocoa content.
Sugar-free candies can provide a good alternative to their sugary counterparts. Especially hard candies and lollipops are good because they stimulate production of saliva, which helps keep your mouth clean. Though not everyone might agree this is candy, sugar-free gum is also a good alternative to sugary candy. Check on the labels what sweetener is being used in the sugar-free candy because there is some controversy regarding some of them.
True, fruit might not normally be considered to be candy, but it’s a good idea to see fruit as a treat and also convey this message to your children. Most fruit is sweet, juicy and delicious so we don’t see why it shouldn’t be considered a treat! Avoid overconsumption of dried fruits because they are usually very sugary and stick to your teeth.
There you go, three great alternatives to sugar-laden candies that can help prevent harming your teeth while still enjoying a treat once in a while. If you want to sneak in a real sugary candy now and then, don’t worry too much about it, just make sure you rinse your mouth with water afterwards and brush and floss your teeth consistently.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with the dentist, contact us today.