Posted August 26, 2010
When you’re craving something sweet, what is the most satisfying treat?
Perhaps it’s a piece of decadent chocolate cake, caramel cheesecake, or a scoop of your favorite ice cream? Across the country, Americans are “in love” with sweets. In fact, the average individual consumes 156 lbs. of added sugar each year.
While most of us are aware that satisfying our sweet tooth on a regular basis can contribute to a larger waistline, we may not think about how sweets impact our oral health.
Each time bacteria comes into contact with sugar or starch in your mouth, acid is produced which attacks your teeth for at least 20 minutes. And the bacteria that causes cavities thrives 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.
Which Treats are Less Harmful?
Yes, there are some treats that are less harmful to your teeth! Here’s the list:
• chocolate pieces—with or without nuts
• peppermint patties
• gummi candies
• diabetic or dietetic candy
• sugarless gum
• pumpkin or sunflower seeds
• fresh fruits, such as apples, berries or melon
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.
Which are you more loyal to—your sweets or your dentist? Do you give equal time to both? Let me know and I’ll post the responses. – Karen