Now that Halloween’s upon us, we’d like to explain how candy damages your teeth and what you can do to help your children still enjoy the season while keeping their teeth strong and healthy.
Candy = Cavities
It’s not actual sugar that creates cavities, but the sugar creates the perfect conditions in your mouth for cavities to form. Your mouth is filled with hundreds of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to maintaining a healthy oral ecosystem. When you eat candy, harmful mouth bacteria feeds off of the sugar, similar to the yeast process when baking bread.
The bacteria then create acids which erode tooth enamel. Therefore cavities are a bacterial infection caused by those acids.
What kinds of Candy are the Most Damaging to Teeth?
Chewy, sticky candies are the worst, like toffies and gummy candy.
These sticky candies are detrimental to teeth because it gets caught between them and the saliva then can’t reach between teeth to wash the candy away.
In addition to sticky candy, sour sweets are also high on the list, because they’re highly acidic, they break down tooth enamel.
How to keep your children’s teeth cavity-free this Halloween
Brush after eating: By brushing about 30minutes after eating, kids remove enamel-eating bacteria.
Drink plenty of water: Water can minimise some of the harmful effects of sugar, preventing decay. If your children eat candy and can’t brush afterwards, have them rinse their mouths with some water as they down a glass.
Eat candy with meals: Eating candy is unavoidable, so try eating candy at mealtime as saliva production increases. Saliva not only cancels the acids in mouths, but it also helps wash away food particles.
And of course, as always, we’d encourage you to bring your children in for regular dental check-ups. Come see us at Corne Smith Cape Town Dentistry, Claremont for a “not-so-scary” visit.