The Biggest Halloween Candy Culprits
The biggest Halloween candy culprits are the types that are sticky and chewy. Think gummy bears, Sour patch kids and Swedish fish. The reason these are so harmful is that they are full of sugar and when you are done eating they stick to the grooves and pits of your teeth. They cause damage to your tooth structure well after you have finished snacking on them. Studies show that the specific bacteria known to cause dental decay uses these sugars as fuel, the bacteria reproduce and their byproducts lead to a highly acidic intra-oral environment. When your mouth is acidic it causes the calcium (found in your tooth enamel) to leach out. This leaves your teeth soft and more prone to decay.
Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Teeth Safe
Some tips and tricks I use when I have a sweet tooth urge and I cannot brush my teeth immediately after involves chewing a piece of sugar-free gum which will loosen up food remnants stuck in those pits and grooves. Chewing gum stimulates salivary flow which is a natural PH buffer for your mouth, neutralizing the acids. The best gum is xylitol gum, if I can't brush and don't have any sugar-free gum left then I will run over to the sink and swish out with some water. H20 will help begin to neutralize the pH of my mouth and also rinse away some residues and acids. It is not as ideal as brushing or chewing gum, but it’s a step in the right direction. Moderation is of course the best strategy but we all need treats every once in a while.
As always, a good teeth cleaning is always a great idea to keep your teeth clean and healthy - especially while devouring those spooky treats.
Drs. Michael Krochak and Joshua Perlman
NYC Smile Spa
30 E. 60th St., Suite 1201
New York, NY 10022
P (212) 838-2900