With Easter coming soon, you’re probably shopping for treats to fill your children’s baskets. Chances are, you plan to include some candy. Some treats are harder on teeth than others. Read our dentists’ advice here for the best Easter candy for the bunny to bring your kids.
If you have any questions or need to make an appointment for your children or other family members, call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423. No matter what kind of candy you get for your kids, make sure they brush and floss their teeth every day and bring them at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings. For added protection against cavities, we may recommend preventive treatments like fluoride and/or dental sealants.
The Hard Truth: Skip Hard Candies
Hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers typically contain a lot of sugar. Even worse, your child can crack or even break teeth consuming these treats. The name “jawbreaker” really says all you need to know! A damaged tooth will require a restorative dentistry repair – which is something we’d rather a young person wouldn’t have to think about for years to come.
Sticky Treats Can Really Stick It to Your Teeth
When choosing Easter candy, it’s best to avoid sticky treats like jellybeans, taffy, or caramels as much as possible. To explain why, here’s a quick lesson in how cavities happen. Bacteria in your mouth create a sticky film called plaque. It collects on your teeth, then uses the sugar you consume to produce acid. The acid, not the sugar itself, is what destroys tooth enamel and causes cavities.
Sticky candies tend to get caught in the tiny grooves on the surfaces of teeth and in between teeth too. This makes it easy to miss without diligent brushing and flossing. Sticky substances also don’t rinse away as easily with saliva.
Go Ahead and Get That Chocolate Bunny
Chocolate is among the best choices. It dissolves fairly quickly and easily in the mouth, so the sugar gets washed away by saliva and beverages. It’s also easier to remove traces of chocolate with a toothbrush. Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate, because it contains substances that actually help inhibit bacterial growth in the mouth.
Sugarless Gum Is a Great Choice
One of your best options for Easter candy is sugarless gum. Chewing it increases the flow of saliva, a natural cavity fighter. You might want to look for gum that contains xylitol. Studies have been conducted that show xylitol helps fight cavities in several key ways: it disrupts bacteria’s ability to produce acid; it increases the pH level in your mouth, making it less hospitable to bacteria; and it cuts down on the slimy substance that is a key part of plaque.
Portion Control Is a Good Idea
Rather than giving kids one huge chocolate bar, give them several small ones. Individually wrapped treats like chocolate eggs are also a good idea, as they offer built-in portion control. If it takes children a while to eat a big bunny or other oversized treat, the harmful substances will linger longer on their teeth.
Consider Non-Candy Treats
We know Easter candy is popular, but also include other treats to cut down on the amount of candy. Young children like sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, balls, bubbles, and small stuffed toys. You can even chalk in fun Easter shapes like eggs and chicks. Tweens and teens will appreciate gift cards for iTunes, Amazon, or their favorite stores. Older kids also may appreciate lip balm. EOS lip balm even comes in bright, egg-shaped containers.
If you’d like more advice on Easter candy or other aspects of your child’s dental health, call Carmichael Dental Care at 334-600-1423.