Worst and Best Holiday Candy for Your Kids’ Teeth
If you’re like many parents in North Vancouver, you likely have a kind of love-hate relationship with the holidays. On one hand, it’s fun getting caught up in all the excitement of celebrating with family and opening presents, especially when children are younger.
On the other, what most parents—and dentists—in North Vancouver are not so eager for is the amount of candy and sweets that kids eat over the holidays.
Rather than fret about all those sugary treats, it might be helpful to know that some candy is worse for teeth than others. Differentiating the worst from the best may help you decide which candy you’ll hand out at holiday parties, as well as which candies won’t be used as stocking stuffers this year.
- Chewy and sticky candy. Chewy and sticky candies make the top of the worst list. They get stuck in the pits and grooves of teeth, which often leads to cavities. Marshmallows, taffy, caramels, tootsie rolls and even dried fruit present a high risk for cavities and bacteria growth.
- Hard candy and sugary snacks. Hard candy like candy canes and peppermints may not stick to teeth, but they take a long time to dissolve. The longer the food lingers, the more acidic the mouth becomes. That leads to weakened tooth enamel. Sugary snacks, such as cookies, brownies, cake, and gingerbread can cause cavities.
- Sour candy. Sour candies contain a large amount of acid, which wears down tooth enamel. This can increase chances of chipped or broken teeth. If consumed, wait 30 minutes before brushing. Otherwise, the acid may get embedded into individual tooth grooves leading to sensitive teeth.
- Dark Chocolate. Plain dark chocolate is one treat that dentists in North Vancouver will all agree is actually good for you. Not only does dark chocolate contain antioxidants, but also compounds that fight plaque and harden tooth enamel.
- Sugar-free candy and gum. Sugar-free candies, such as lollipops, are better than their sugar-filled counterparts. Sucking on them stimulates saliva production which reduces dry mouth and helps fight plaque buildup. The advantage of sugar-free gum is the chewing action dislodges food stuck between teeth.
- Powdered candy. This one may come as a surprise. Powdery candy, such as Pixy Stix, is a better choice than chewy or sticky candy. Although packed with sugars, it dissolves rapidly which prevents it from sticking to teeth.
Do you need to visit a dental clinic in North Vancouver?
If your child experiences tooth pain after celebrating the holidays, it’s best to see a family dentist right away to have the problem resolved. Contact the friendly staff at District Dental to schedule an appointment today.