June is National Candy Month. No matter what month it is, we bet your kids love eating candy. It’s certainly not great for their teeth, but there are ways to minimize the detrimental effects on their smile.
Follow our dentist’s advice:
- Skip Sour and Sticky Treats – The worst treats are those labeled sour, as they are high in sugar and citric acid, which eats away at tooth enamel. Sticky candies like taffy cling to teeth and get stuck in areas hard to remove with brushing, so they should be avoided. You should also skip any candies that remain in the mouth for an extended time, like suckers and jawbreakers.
- Choose Chocolate, Especially With Nuts – Chocolate is one of the best choices for a candy treat, because it melts easily and washes away. Dark chocolate is especially good, since it is lower in sugar. Chocolate with nuts is good too, since nuts contain fiber and protein, which are good for your child’s health.
- Limit Candy to a Single Sitting – Don’t let your child snack on candy over an extended time. This gives cavity-causing ingredients a longer time to damage tooth enamel. Instead make it a quick treat, such as serving it as dessert after a meal.
- Look for Xylitol on the Ingredient List – Look for sugarless gum and other candy containing xylitol. This sweetener inhibits the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva, which is a natural cavity fighter.
- Have a Water Chaser – Your child should have a drink of water after eating candy. It will wash away remnants of candy that can harm your child’s smile.
- Brush Teeth, but Not Immediately – Brushing teeth is a good idea. But have your child wait about half an hour after eating candy. Otherwise, they can damage enamel weakened by acidic substances.
- Take Advantage of Preventive Treatments – Fluoride treatments strengthen tooth enamel and sealants create a barrier between bacteria and teeth. Ask about these cavity-fighting treatments at your child’s next exam.
To schedule an appointment for your child in our Littleton, CO office, call Sprout and Bloom at 720-637-1760 today.