It should be common knowledge by now that sugar is horrible for your teeth. The fact remains that many ask the question: “Is sugar-free candy okay?” The answer to that question is, most of the time, a resounding no. Sugar-free chocolate, as an example, is just as harmful to your teeth as candy that is coated in gobs of sugar!
First, candies with sugar substitutes can still cause tooth decay. This is often forgotten. Even with sugar-free candies, there is a lower risk of tooth decay, but the trade-off is that they are still harmful to teeth as they often contain high levels of acid! That acid strips away the surface layers of enamel, and in advanced stages, can expose the softer dentin or pulp of the tooth. This is according to Eric Reynolds, a health researcher at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
What Are The Best And Worst Types Of Candy For The Teeth?
The three worst candies for your teeth are sticky candy, hard candy, and sour candy. Sour candy is horrible for you for two reasons: the first being that it is coated in sugar and the second being that it is very acidic.
Sticky candy is difficult to remove, so therefore it will stay on your teeth longer and that will allow more tooth-decay-causing bacteria to feast on the sugar and multiply.
By eating hard candy, like lollipops and candy canes, the amount of time that it stays in your teeth and the chances of developing cavities goes up while you suck on it. This gives it more time for your teeth to be exposed to the sugar.
There is some good news, though. There are actually some types of candy that are less damaging to your oral health in moderation. In moderation, sugar-free candy containing Xylitol can actually have a positive effects on your oral heath because it washes the mouth of bad bacteria and plaque that cause tooth problems. The key word is moderation though.
The next time you’re in our office, be sure and ask about which types of candies and snacks are best for your teeth. Make an appointment today!