Many of us have fond memories of Easter. Hunting for Easter eggs is often a rite of passage along with enjoying large helpings of Easter candy. But, when it comes to dental health, not all of these seasonal treats are created equal. So before you purchase any Easter candy for your children (or yourself), here are some tips from your local dentist in Anchorage for making the healthiest choice possible for their teeth.
Candies that are high in sugar can lead to significant problems when it comes to your oral health. In fact, sugar feeds the harmful bacteria which can lead to plaque, tooth decay, and even gum disease. Candy that is sugar-free can be a great compromise – it’s a smarter option for your teeth and still allows you to indulge a little.
Sugar-free candy is still sweet, but with the lower sugar content, you are less likely to promote the negative bacteria. And since they stimulate the salivary glands, they can even help fight off cavities instead of causing them.
Dark chocolate has larger amounts of cocoa than milk or white chocolate, making it a better option for children who enjoy chocolate. It is important to be sure your child consumes dark chocolate in moderation to prevent the overconsumption of sugar.
When it comes to controlling their sugar intake, choose smaller candies instead of large candy bars. This helps limit the portion size through individual pieces and presents less of a temptation than a full bar. If you want to give a chocolate bunny, look for one that is hollow in the middle, limiting the amount of chocolate they consume.
Most dentists in Anchorage agree that chewy candies are one of the worst offenders when it comes to sugar and plaque buildup. These are more likely to linger on the teeth and can even get stuck in the spaces between teeth or other crevices, exposing the surfaces to sugar over a longer period of time. That means treats like gummy candies, jelly beans and taffy should be avoided, along with sweets featuring caramel or marshmallow.
Hard candies that aren’t sugar-free present a similar issue to chewy candies. Since hard candy takes time to dissolve, it exposes teeth to sugar for an extended period of time. Additionally, children who chew on hard candies may end up with pieces stuck between their teeth, exposing even more of the surface to sugar. In the worst of cases, biting down on a hard candy can even lead to a cracked tooth.
Sour candies are a double-edged sword in regards to tooth damage. Unless they are sugar-free, they can have the same amount of sugar as the previously discussed hard and gummy candy. They also contain a type of acid that produces the sour taste. Acid can damage tooth enamel, making your child’s teeth more susceptible to damage and decay long-term.
Easter and candy often go hand-in-hand, especially if you have children. However, by making smarter choices, you can help keep your kid’s teeth healthy between visits to your Anchorage dentist while still enjoying some fun, seasonal treats.