With Halloween coming fast, children everywhere are looking forward to trick-or-treating and taking home bags of candy. Unfortunately, this could be a problem for their teeth.
Sugar, Bacteria and Your Teeth
By now, you’ve probably been told ad nauseam that candy is bad for your teeth and that it can give you cavities, but you may not know the whole truth. Technically, it’s not the sugar in candy that will give you cavities, but the bacteria in your mouth. Everyone’s mouth is full of bacteria, and while this is completely normal and even beneficial, that bacteria also feed on the sugar that gets on your teeth. When bacteria feed on sugar, it breaks it down into acid that eats away at your teeth. Let this go unchecked for too long, and you end up with cavities and tooth decay.
This may sound like we’re trying to scare you away from eating candy this Halloween, but we’re really not. Sugar may be abundant in all of your favorite candies, but it can also be found in fruits, starch and other healthy foods. It is found in smaller amounts than suckers and caramels, but it’s there all the same. Your teeth will come into contact with sugar even if you eat a healthy diet, so the best thing you can do for your teeth is to brush and floss them regularly to rid them of much of these sugars. This will prevent cavities and ensure that you have healthy teeth.
Candies You Should Avoid
While brushing your teeth regularly is more beneficial than avoiding candy, some kinds of candy are still worse for your teeth than others. The absolute worst kinds of candies for your teeth are the sticky ones such as caramel. These stick to your teeth, and the longer they are in contact with your teeth the more teeth-eroding acid is created by bacteria.
We wish you all a safe and fun-filled Halloween, but please also keep oral health in mind. Always remember to brush at least twice a day, floss at least once, and be careful with how much sugar you eat this October or any other time of the year.
Of course, keeping up with annual dental appointments and cleanings is also an important part of dental health. If you are in the Baton Rouge area, contact Dr. Russo and The Smile Spa to schedule your exam. Simply click here, or call our office directly at (225) 292-7645. By choosing the “Schedule Now” option, you may schedule your own appointment from the comfort of your home at any time of day or night!