Everyone knows that sugary treats cause cavities. Did you ever wonder why that happens and what you can do about it? With Halloween around the corner, here is some helpful information.
Chemistry At Play!
Our mouths are naturally full of bacteria. The good bacteria help maintain our oral health; but, the bad one’s feed on the sugar found in candies – creating acids that destroy our teeth’s enamel and gums. Sugar also lowers the PH balance in our mouth making it more acidic. This acid can then bond to and erode our teeth’s enamel.
When left untreated, these acids progress past the enamel and into our teeth’s deeper layers, causing teeth to rot/pain and possible tooth loss. This condition can worsen faster if you don’t brush your teeth regularly, as bacteria can turn into plaque and/or tartar which can further damage your teeth.
Types of Candy
Sticky or gummy candies stick to your teeth giving sugar time to seep into all those nooks and crannies in your mouth. Hard candy stays longer in your mouth and slowly coats your teeth in sugar, it can also crack or break your teeth as you chew it. Sour candies are super acidic and break down the enamel, weakening your teeth and making them more susceptible to cavities.
What Should I Do?
Luckily, the damaging effects of candy can be mitigated, as long as you take proper precautions. There’s no need to completely say goodbye to candies and chocolate. Dr. Charu Saini and team are always happy to help you and your children better understand and manage the damaging affects of sugar and candy.
Start by cutting down on your candy consumption. Always immediately brush your teeth after eating candy to help remove acids and enamel-eating bacteria. If brushing immediately is not an option, chew some sugar-free gum. The sugar-free gum absorbs some of the acidic gunk stuck to your teeth, lessening its harmful effects on your enamel. Finally, drink plenty of water, this will help minimize the harmful effects of sugar, while helping you stay hydrated.
Kids love the celebrations around Halloween and comparing the candy loot collected. In some households it even becomes somewhat of a competitive sport. However, Parents should consider rationing the amount of Candy their kids actually consume after trick-or-treating, or even consider rewarding their kids for trading in the candy loot for more healthy treats.
Overall, getting regular dental cleanings is absolutely critical in maintaining the overall health of teeth. The scaling and polishing that you get during your routine cleaning at Maple Ridge Dental Clinic for Children and Adult will help you and your children keep strong healthy teeth, while indulging in sweet treats every so often.
If you have questions regarding the recipes above, or to learn more about healthy foods to eat that won’t cause damage to your teeth, contact us today, and our friendly team will be happy to help. To schedule an appointment for you or your child, give us a call. Have a happy summer!