Can Candy be Mouth-Healthy?

November 15th, 2018

People love candy, and what’s not to love? It’s sweet, and you can enjoy it pretty much anywhere. But, if you eat too much candy, your teeth will suffer. So, are there any types of candy that are healthier for teeth? 

Dark Chocolate 

Dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks and keeping enamel healthy. 

If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, find some all-natural dark chocolate. Be sure that it is at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutrition.  Dark chocolate can also help reduce cholesterol, blood clots and clogged arteries. Milk chocolate contains a combination of milk and sugar additives that can contribute to tooth decay, while dark chocolate does not contain those ingredients. 

Xylitol Mints 

Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health. Increased saliva can help prevent bad breath by eliminating dry mouth, and prevent prolonged exposure to acid and sugar caused by food debris. You can find xylitol-sweetened mints at your local supermarket or convenience store! 

Dark Chocolate Mixed Nuts 

Nuts contain fiber and protein, both of which promote healthy teeth. Chewing nuts promotes saliva production that naturally protects and cleans your teeth by clearing the mouth of debris and acid buildup that can lead to cavities. You can find dark chocolate covered nuts to really supercharge your mouth-healthy sweet treat.

Avoid These Types of Candy 

Hard Candy 

Be vigilant when letting your child eat hard candy, because it can crack teeth. Hard candy also tends to stick around longer than other candy, which exposes teeth to sugar for longer. Extended contact with sugar can lead to more cavities because sugar provides bad bacteria with the energy it needs to destroy enamel.

Sticky Candy 

Like hard candy, sticky candy can get stuck in tooth crevices and stay around long after it’s been swallowed. Sticky candy is difficult to remove from teeth, and gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to eat away enamel. 

Sour Candy 

Sour candy can leave teeth susceptible to cavities more so than any other candy. This is because sour candy contains a high amount of acid. In fact, the elevated acid content is what makes it so sour. The acidity can eat away the enamel of teeth, and leave them vulnerable to cavities. 

Visit Our Office 

A mouth-healthy diet is an important part of maintaining optimal oral health. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We’ll perform a routine oral health checkup and provide a dental plan that works for their mouth.

Why Is Candy Passed Out During Halloween?

October 25th, 2018

Halloween is one of America’s favorite traditions, and gives us an incredible opportunity to get outside and celebrate our community with friends and neighbors alike. But, did you know that we haven’t always passed out candy during Halloween? In fact, Halloween isn’t even an American holiday.  

European Tradition

Halloween used to be known as The Festival of Samhain, which celebrated the harvest and the Celtic New Year. The Festival of Samhain originated in England and Scotland, and later grew more popular across Europe.  

Trick-or-treating evolved from an old tradition called “going a-souling,” which occurred when children celebrating the Festival of Samhain solicited food and treats from door to door. Kids would knock on a neighbor’s door and offer to pray for the souls of their relatives in exchange for gifts. The children would be handed food, coins, ale and other trinkets in exchange for their kind thoughts. This tradition eventually made its way to America in the early 1900s, when the United States welcomed a large influx of European immigrants.  

Parental Concern

Trick-or-treating gained popularity in the 1930s and 40s, but as Halloween became more popular, parents felt unsafe allowing their children to accept unwrapped food from strangers. At the time, some of the most popular treats were cookies, cakes, fruit, popcorn balls and muffins. Parents argued that the treats could be tampered with and potentially harm their children. Combine this risk with how expensive and time consuming it is to make treats from scratch, and Halloween had a real problem: a lot of people wanted to celebrate, but could not do so without steady, reliable supply that parents could trust.  

Sweet, Packaged Confection

During the 1950s, Halloween boomed in popularity across the USA. However, parents were still concerned about the treats their children were receiving. Candy producers saw this as a golden opportunity to alleviate parent’s concerns by providing reliable, enjoyable treats. Candy producers created large advertising campaigns promoting the safety of prepackaged candy. They argued that it was safer for children to eat packaged candy, because it couldn’t be altered without visible marks on the wrapper. Suddenly, it became much cheaper to buy candy and hand it out instead of spending hours creating your own treats. 

Sugar Harms Teeth 

Candy is packed with sugar, which fuels unhealthy bacteria that eats away tooth enamel and leads to cavities. Be sure that your child doesn’t eat too much candy, and that they brush and floss their teeth after eating candy. We hope that your family has a happy and safe Halloween this year!