When Valentine’s Day rolls around, it’s easy for new cavities to start to appear. There are so many sticky candies that people love during this holiday, but much of it is bad for teeth. Luckily, no one has to go without candy and sweets for Valentine’s Day. By taking the time to get candies and treats that are more tooth-friendly, your family can enjoy the holiday and the delicious foods it brings.
When candies are sticky, they will stick to the teeth and can stay there long enough to cause damage to the teeth. If the candies are sour, such as Sour Patch Kids and similar candies, they are also highly acidic as well as being sticky. These are the worst type for the teeth. If at all possible, avoid the chewy, sticky candies for better dental health. There are plenty of other types of candies and treats that will be better for your family’s teeth.
Better Candies for Teeth
There are some candies that are better for the teeth than others. Choosing chocolate is generally better for dental health because it dissolves quickly and doesn’t hang around in the mouth or on the teeth. It’s even better if it has peanuts inside it, such as Mr. Goodbar and others, as the hard texture of the nuts can help to brush off sugar and plaque. If you or your family eats dark chocolate, there are many other benefits including a number of important nutrients and bacteria-fighting substances.
It can be better for teeth to swap out many candies for a backed item like a cookie or brownie. These are less sticky, and they won’t stay on the teeth as long. You can also consider giving out fruit such as melon pieces cut into heart shapes. Sugar-free gum is another winner for Valentine’s Day. If you choose gum that is sweetened with Xylitol, it works well to neutralize bacteria in the mouth.
Wait to Brush
You may have the instinct to get your family to brush their teeth right away after having Valentine’s Day sweets, but it is actually better to wait about an hour after finishing them brush up. Encourage your family to drink water right after eating candy and other treats. But if you brush right after eating, you risk moving bacteria around instead of getting rid of it.
Oral Care for the Family
When you want your family to practice better oral hygiene, it’s important to model the behavior for them. Kids can be more likely to brush when they are encouraged to do so and see others doing it. Make sure that your family members have the dental hygiene supplies they need and that you regularly encourage their use. When they’re eating Valentine’s Day candy, it’s a great time to talk about how those sweet treats can harm the teeth and how to make sure that they don’t. It may take a lot of reminding at first, but eventually, it will become an ingrained habit.
If you haven’t booked your dental checkup appointment for your family, now is a good time to do so! Give the Long Beach dental office of Stephen Coates, DDS a call at 562-434-6414 or request an appointment through this link here.