Chances are, there will be at least some candy in your children’s stockings. And that’s OK. Everyone needs a special treat sometime! However, some kinds of candy are especially problematic for young smiles – and adult ones too. Before Santa goes shopping, check out our dentists’ list of best and worst candies.
Smart choices can help keep your kids’ teeth in great shape. You may also want to take advantage of preventive treatments like applications of fluoride and dental sealants. They help protect their teeth from harmful substances and keep them cavity-free – during the holidays and all year round.
To schedule an appointment in our Hawthorne, CA office, call us at 310-982-4895. In the meantime, check out our list of candy recommendations:
- Forget Long-Lasting Candy – When it comes to cavities, the amount of time your teeth are exposed to sugar makes a bigger difference than the amount of sugar you consume. So sugary candies that take lots of time to eat are a no-no. This includes suckers, Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers, and candy canes.
- No Sticky Stuff – Sticky treats get in between teeth and other out-of-the-way places where it’s tough to rinse them away or even remove them with brushing and flossing. So avoid things like marshmallows, gummies, taffy, and caramels. Sticky stuff can also damage braces or other orthodontia.
- Skip Sour Treats – Sour candies are highly acidic. This makes them the worst choice for your kids’ teeth. They eat into tooth enamel, making it vulnerable to decay. Skip anything with sour in the name, like Sour Patch Kids and sour worms.
- Chocolate Is a Better Choice – Chocolate treats like candy bars are a smile-friendly option. That’s because they melt rapidly in your child’s mouth and wash away from their teeth. Dark chocolate and candy with nuts even have additional health benefits.
- Try Sugar-Free Treats – It’s also OK to offer sugar-free candies and gum. Sucking on sugar-free candy like Life Savers or suckers stimulates saliva production, which helps fight cavities. Sugar-free gum has a similar effect and can even help dislodge food particles from your child’s teeth. Look for gum that contains xylitol, which has natural decay-preventing properties.
In addition to eliminating certain kinds of candy, try to cut sugar in other holiday foods. For instance, don’t top your sweet potatoes with marshmallows. Serve your kids water instead of juice or soda. With no sugars or acids, it won’t hurt their teeth. Plus, it helps rinse away bits of food and other harmful substances.