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Treats and Your Teeth

October 8, 2017
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Posted By: Dr. Hayoung Kim
Group of Smiling Children | Children's Dentistry Toronto ON

With Halloween fast approaching, it's a good idea to review how treats affect your teeth. We all know that sugar is bad for our pearly whites, but here's a quick review of how and why.

Sugar 101

Did you know that it's not actually sugar that creates the cavities in your teeth? Rather, it's the chain reaction that sugar triggers in your mouth that causes tooth decay. Plaque builds up on your teeth creating a sticky film. The bacteria in the plaque is fueled by the sugar you consume and it produces the acids that erode tooth enamel, eventually creating a cavity.

The Worst Culprits

As candy goes, chocolate is probably your best bet when trying to avoid tooth decay, especially dark chocolate, which has less sugar than milk chocolate. Some of the worst treats for your teeth are:

  • Hard candies - which can not only cause decay but can also cause fractures if you choose to bite down on it.
  • Sticky, chewy, or gummy candies -  which tend to linger longer than they should, letting sugar do its damage to your teeth.
  • Sour candies - these are very acidic, which contributes to tooth decay. It's a double whammy when the sour candies are coated in sugar.
  • Lollipops - Not only are they hard, but the length of time it takes as you suck on the lollipop also allows for damage to your teeth. Frequent or lengthy exposure to sugar is worse for your teeth.

Protecting Your Teeth From Cavities

There are some steps you can take to protect your teeth from the damage that candy causes. Eat one or two pieces of candy at one time and brush shortly after. Rinsing with water and drinking it throughout the day is also a good way to wash away the bacteria and acids that cause tooth decay.

Visiting your family dentist in Toronto every six months is also a good idea to be proactive about your oral health and detecting any tooth decay in its earliest stages. Give Toronto Lakeshore Dental a call today to schedule your next appointment.