Posted February 14, 2011
Recognizing Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2011
On Valentine’s Day, showing our love and appreciation for someone often is communicated with a heart-shaped box of scrumptious chocolate candy treats. Unbelievably, Americans buy more than 35 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolates each year. Here are some other statistics about Valentine’s sweets:
- Americans spend $345 million for Valentine’s candy each year
- Approximately 58 million pounds of chocolate are consumed around Valentine’s Day
- The average American consumes between 10 and 12 pounds of chocolate each year; more than 60 percent of all chocolates in America are enjoyed by women
- About 8 billion candy hearts are sold between Feb. 1 and Feb. 14
While most of us are aware that consuming large amounts of candy during this holiday can contribute to a larger waistline, we may not think about how sweets impact our oral health.
Impact of Sweets on Your Teeth
Each time bacteria come into contact with sugar in your mouth, acid is produced, which attacks your teeth for at least 20 minutes. And the bacteria that cause cavities thrive in sweets and sodas. Cavities are caused by tooth decay that destroys the tooth structures and can affect both the enamel and inner layer of the tooth.
Sweets That are Tough on Your Teeth
Some foods and candies create more problems for your teeth than others, including those that are sticky, dissolve slowly or are sucked, such as lollipops, hard candies, toffee, gum drops, taffy, caramel corn, peanut brittle, dried fruit, chocolate-covered raisins and high-energy sports bars.
Keep Your Teeth Healthy
To maintain good oral health, brush your teeth at least twice a day, use floss daily, eat nutritious foods, limit snacks, including candy, pretzels, and chips, and visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams.
Before indulging in sweet treats, do you consider your waistline? Your oral health? – Scott Delisi, Ameritas Group