Halloween isn’t the only cavity holiday. Boxes of chocolates, candy conversation hearts and bonbons fill store aisles every February for the Valentine’s Day rush. These sweets don’t have a very lovely affect on your teeth though. Most people are concerned about calories and don’t think about the damage candy causes to their smile. If someone special gives you a box of chocolate treats, children bring home candy valentines from school, or your colleagues bring in extra sweets to share at the office, think about the not-so-sweet consequences your teeth will face.
Valentine’s Candies and Cavities
Valentine candies have concentrated amounts of sugar. Whenever sugar comes in contact with the bacteria in your mouth, an acid is produced that attacks teeth for twenty minutes or more. This type of bacteria is the same found in Valentine’s Day sweets. It’s also the same bacteria that produce cavities.
Better Candy Choices
What if you can’t resist the candy temptation? If you want to keep your smile as healthy as possible without sacrificing chocolates and candies, choose sweets that have less contact with teeth. Candy that has contact with your teeth for a longer period of time will cause more dental problems. Taffy, caramel, lollipops and toffee are the types of sweets that take a long time to dissolve and consume, which means your teeth are exposed to the cavity-causing bacteria longer. What are the better candy choices for your teeth? Popcorn and nuts are salt-based instead of sugar, so they won’t cause as much damage to teeth’s enamel.
Healthy Valentine’s Day
Candy has a long shelf life. If you don’t want to give your sweets away, hold on to them and enjoy a treat after meals. Saliva production is highest at and just after mealtime, so sugars from the candy will be flushed away faster than other times of the day. Help your friends and loved ones have a healthier Valentine’s Day and choose gifts that aren’t going to cause cavities. Write a letter, take them out to a movie or buy flowers instead. Although we love to see our patients, we’re sure you don’t want your Valentine’s Day spent at our Raleigh dentist office. Plus, Americans annually spend $345 million on Valentine’s candies. Can you imagine how much Americans spend on dental care after damaging their teeth with all the sweets? That’s a cost you can cut down by having a healthy Valentine’s Day.
Routine Dental Cleanings
If you do fall in love with a deep heart-shaped box of chocolates, brush your teeth as soon as possible. Keep healthy habits of brushing and flossing twice daily, and make sure you have your routine dental cleanings scheduled with Glenwood Smiles.
Keep Your Smile Healthy!
Glenwood Smiles is a general and family dental office in Raleigh, NC. Give us a call at 919.834.4450 or take a moment to fill out our contact form to request an appointment.