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Sugar and your teeth

As a registered dental hygienist and mother of three handsome boys aged 7, 3, and 5 months, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to attempt to limit their candy intake in an effort to keep sugar in check. What child doesn’t love candy?

There are so many different types of candy and it seems for every holiday, candy is the easiest go-to-gift. It’s just so plentiful and accessible! We, as dental providers, worry about the effects candy and sugar has on teeth, for a child or adult. A mouth full of bacteria, when combined with sugar, creates an acid that destroys tooth enamel.

For the sake of your teeth, when choosing candy, there are certain types to try to avoid:

  1. Sour candy is a major offender and considered the worst type of candy to eat. They produce a high amount of acid which causes damage to the enamel and breaks down the tooth. This break down is otherwise called a cavity.

  2. Sticky, chewy types of candy which are all kinds of wonderful, but tend to adhere to your teeth. If the candy sticks with you, then the odds increase the possibility of a cavity forming.

If possible, try to avoid eating candy all day long. The best recommendation, after eating candy, is to brush, floss and rinse your mouth. Clear your palate and maybe a fresh mouth will help you turn down more!

Being a dental hygienist and a mother, my children know the concern I have with candy and sugar. My goal every day, is to help educate parents and kids about the importance of good oral home care. The key in life is that almost everything is acceptable in moderation. And when talking about candy, it is best when combined with brushing, flossing, and regular dental checkups.


Geanna is a registered dental hygienist who works for Spring Valley Dental Group, in O'Fallon, IL. Below, are her sweet Valentines!

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