Is Candy Really That Bad?
Hello, dear reader, and welcome back to our blog! With Halloween fast approaching, we here at Boulder Dental Designs know that many of our readers will be consuming a little more candy than they normally would. While it is true that candy is delicious, the results of eating candy frequently and in large amounts can have some seriously negative effects on the health of a person’s teeth. In our dealings with patients, we have found that many people understand that candy is not the best thing to eat in relation to the health of our teeth, however, we have also found that many people don’t understand why candy is so bad. To remedy this gap in knowledge, we are going to take some time in today’s post to go over some of the reasons why candy has such a negative effect on teeth in the hope’s that our readers will understand why it is so important to limit the amount of sweets that they consume. Continue reading below to learn more.
It’s All About the Sugar…Sort of
For the most part, people understand that sugar is bad for their teeth. From a young age, most people are told by their parents, dentists, and peers that sugar will rot their teeth from their mouth if they are not careful. What fewer people have explained to them, however, is exactly why sugar is so harmful to our teeth. When you consume items that contain a lot of sugar, you are providing the natural bacteria in your mouth with their favorite food source. Mouth bacteria is something that we will never be able to truly eliminate. These tiny bacteria are part of a healthy mouth environment and, when doing their job correctly, are essential in making sure that any excess food that may be stuck between a person’s teeth is properly broken down through the release of acid. Problems begin to occur when mouth bacteria are given a source of food, in this case sugar, that allows them to produce more acid than is desirable. The more acid that is produced, the less effective the saliva is in properly washing away the acid. As the acid builds up, it begins to affect the enamel of the teeth, increasing the chances of tooth decay to occur. While the sugar content of candy is the main reason that it is so detrimental to the health of teeth, other factors contribute as well. Below, we have listed a few of these factors.
If you are a fan of sour candy, you could be causing double the damage to your teeth. Sour candy is typically coated in an acidic layering of flavoring that is responsible for making the sour taste possible. By itself, this acidic layer isn’t so bad, however, when you couple it with the amount of sugar that tends to be in candy, your mouth may struggle to keep up. As you eat sour candy, your teeth are bathed in a layer of acid. While this acid is working to destroy the enamel of your teeth, the additional sugar content of the candy is providing the bacteria in your mouth with all of the food that they need to produce their own acid. While your saliva will do its best to wash away this excess acid, there is only so much that your body is able to handle at one time. If you are a fan of sour candy, we suggest that you drink water as you eat it. The water will not completely negate the effects of the increased acid concentration, however, it will help to wash away more acid than your saliva can alone.
Hard candy, one of the most popular types of candy, is bad for your teeth but perhaps not for the reason that you think. The sugar content of hard candy is not doing your mouth any favors but, interestingly enough, hard candy is so bad for your teeth due in large part to the length of time it takes to eat this type of candy. Hard candy tends to be kept in the mouth longer than other forms of candy because, by design, hard candy is meant to be sucked on for long periods of time. As a person keeps a piece of hard candy in their mouth, sugar becomes evenly coated over the teeth. As we mentioned previously, this sugar is then fed upon by bacteria that then turn this sugar into acid. While we would suggest that you avoid hard candy as much as possible, if you cannot get by without it try not to leave it in your mouth for a long time. This will reduce the amount of sugar that your mouth is exposed to.
If you would like to learn more about the harmful effects of candy or you simply need to find a Boulder dentist that is able to meet your dental needs, please contact us today at Boulder Dental Designs. We are a full service dentist office and we are certain that we can provide exceptional dental services to you and your family.