During the holidays, it is common to consume higher amounts of sugar, which isn’t exactly the healthiest choice you can make. Unfortunately sugar can be hard to avoid since it’s a major ingredient in most holiday treats – cakes, pies, cookies, and especially candy.

Sugar can negatively impact your teeth.-Do you know how sugar affects your teeth?

  1. Healthy and some unhealthy bacteria fill your mouth.
  2. Bacteria then sticks to your teeth, forming a substance called biofilm, also known as plaque.
  3. Bacteria in plaque consume sugar from the foods you eat and turn the sugar into acids.
  4. The acids can dissolve the protective enamel on teeth, creating cavities.
  5. The result is tooth decay and, potentially, tooth pain. If you don’t treat the tooth decay, tooth loss can result. (You might be wishing for more than just your two front teeth on Christmas!)

Candy Culprits

These candies promote tooth decay:

Candy Canes: Whether hanging from a tree, stuffing a stocking, or stirring a cup of hot chocolate, candy canes are a traditional holiday treat. But did you know that candy canes are usually 75% sugar and 25% corn syrup, a blend of sugars (fructose, glucose, etc.)? With all that sugar, a candy cane is near the top of the naughty candy list during the holiday season.

Chewy Candies: Caramel, toffee, Twizzlers, fudge, and other chewy treats might hit your sweet spot – and then stay there for some time. Since these candies stick to your teeth, they have the staying power that provides bacteria with ample opportunity to consume the sugar, producing acids.

Caramel Popcorn: This is a double whammy of tooth decay. Not only do you get the sugars from caramel, but popcorn kernel shells can get stuck between your teeth. Not to mention you always have the potential to crack a tooth biting down on unpopped or not-fully-popped kernels.

Hard Candies: Speaking of cracking a tooth, you might be among the people who can’t resist biting into hard candies, such as peanut brittle and peppermints. But by resisting the temptation to bite into hard confections, so you don’t chip or break a tooth, you’re still subject to tooth decay. Although chewy candy nests on teeth, hard candy dissolves in your mouth over a slow period, allowing the bacteria access to more sugar.

Sweet Holiday Beverages: Though not specifically candy, a few drinks with high sugar content are popular during holiday festivities. It’s best to limit your consumption of apple cider, hot chocolate, eggnog, and sweet, creamy alcoholic drinks.

Don’t be afraid, give us a call today so we can not only help you with your oral care, but also help you with your dental care anxiety. Come in to Smiles for Health so we can assess your teeth and help you get ahead of your dental care. Also ask us about our teeth whitening services!