The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Side of Candy
For better or for worse, children love candy. Sweets are, well, sweet. While common knowledge says that candies aren’t good for your children’s teeth, not all candies are created equal.
Some “good” choices of sweets include the following:
- Fruit: “Fruit isn’t candy,” you might say. Well, that depends on your definition of candy. Fruits are nature’s candy. They are richer in fiber and nutrients than any other sweets you can give a child, and their sugars are all natural. If you can satisfy your child’s sweet craving with fruit instead of candy, you’ve won a major battle for their dental health.
- Sugar-free gum: Sugar-free gum increases saliva flow and doesn’t leave plaque on your child’s teeth. Some sugar-free gums are sweetened with xylitol, which counteracts acid formation on teeth.
- Citrus-free sugar-free hard candies: Similar to any sugar-free candy, these sweets are gentle on the teeth. But be warned: Lemon-, lime- and orange-flavored sucking candies are loaded with acid that can burn away tooth enamel.
Now for the “bad” and the “ugly” choices:
- Chocolate: The bad news is that chocolate is loaded with sugar. The good news is that it is low on acid and, because it melts, it won’t stick between the teeth.
- Powdered candy: These candies are basically pure sugar. The powder gets lodged in your child’s gums easily and forms plaque quickly. The purity of the sugar invites bacteria to come live on your child’s teeth.
- Sour candies: Sour candies are acidic, meaning they eat away at your tooth enamel, and sugary, which means they encourage plaque growth. And some are sticky, which means they get caught in the teeth. Have your child stay far, far away from sour candies of all types.
- Taffy, caramel and other sticky candies: These sticky disasters get caught between teeth and can stay there for a very, very long time. In the process, they leave deposits of plaque in places where it can be very difficult to remove them. Candy doesn’t get much worse than this.
This is not a comprehensive list, by any means. If you want to know more about any other snacks, ask Dr. Jared during your child’s next visit at KiDDS Dental.
Click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jared. Or give us a call at (509)-891-7070.