Family Wellness  02/18/2013 NAPA RSS Icon

Sweets Are Tough On Teeth

By Ameritas

  • Candy is a tasty pleasure, but bacteria that cause cavities thrive in sweets such as candy and soda. With care, sugary treats can be enjoyed while limiting chances for tooth decay.
  • Tooth decay is the destruction of tooth structure and can affect both the enamel and the inner layer of the tooth. The acids in plaque can dissolve the enamel surface of the teeth, creating holes in teeth called cavities or caries. Each time bacteria comes into contact with sugar or starch in the mouth, acid is produced, which attacks the teeth for twenty minutes or more.
  • Foods that are less harmful to teeth include chocolate pieces with or without nuts, peppermint patties, marshmallows, licorice, diabetic or dietetic candy and sugarless gum. Other less sticky treats include nuts, popcorn, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, and fresh fruit such as apples, berries and melon.

What to do:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Clean between teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners
  • Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacks
  • Limit carbohydrates such as candy, pretzels and chips
  • Eat sweets with your meal, not between meals
  • Drink at least one pint of fluoridated water each day
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and exams
  • Ask your dentist about supplemental fluoride and dental sealants

Sources:

  • Ameritas
  • WebMD

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