As adults, most of us still relish the idea of gorging ourselves on sweets this season, but with age has come the knowledge of what leftover Halloween candy can mean for our health and our teeth. Luckily, you don’t have to completely miss out on reliving your childhood to protect your teeth. You can reduce your risk of developing tooth decay with these words of advice from Dr. Jeffrey Leibowitz, your Astoria family dentist.
Beware: Harmful Treats
Sugar is one of the main motivators behind the processes that cause tooth decay. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, they excrete lactic acid over the surfaces of your teeth. These acids constantly attack and weaken your tooth enamel until it can no longer protect your teeth from bacterial infection. Candy corn, cookies, and cakes are all loaded with sugar and can increase your risk of developing cavities. Chewy snacks, like gummy bears and taffy, can wreak havoc by sticking to the surfaces of your teeth or lodging between teeth and continually feeding bacteria. Although the opposite of sweet, sour candies are also among the dentally dangerous treats to look out for. Sour candies tend to be acidic and can introduce acid to your teeth without the need of a bacterial middle man.
The Lesser of Multiple Evils
Although some people may find it hard to believe, some candies can actually benefit your oral health, or at least not put it at risk, if eaten in moderation. Chocolate, for instance, has a high level of antioxidants that help your body fight of free radicals and improve your oral health protection. Sugar-less gum and hard candies can help stimulate saliva production, which is essential to fighting tooth decay. A bottle of water is a necessary accessory, regardless of what type of candy you eat. Swishing with water can help you neutralize acids and wash away particles and debris. To learn more about protecting your oral health, contact Dr. Leibowitz by calling our Queens dental office at (718) 728-8320. We proudly serve patients from Astoria, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the surrounding communities.