Most people, especially kids like us, love to eat candies! That’s why it’s hard for us to believe what our mothers said about candies: It will rot your teeth! The Tooth Fairy League finds this information about why candy is bad for our teeth. It’s very convincing…
Why Candy is Bad for Your Teeth
You’ve heard it from your dentist, your hygienist, your mother…everyone: Candy will rot your teeth! Eating too much candy has the potential to “rot” your teeth, but what exactly does that mean, and how does it happen?
Your mouth contains naturally occurring bacteria, called streptococcus. That bacteria loves to feed on sugar, and once it does, it breaks it down into acids that eat away at tooth enamel.
The visible parts of teeth are usually pretty safe from these acids, because they’re washed away when you drink water or brush your teeth. You can run into problems, though, when sweets get lodged in the crevices of your teeth, where bacteria have more time to feed on them.
That’s the key – exposure time. The amount of sugar you ingest isn’t necessarily a determining factor in whether you’ll get a cavity; it’s more about how long sugars linger in your mouth. For this reason, soft candies like caramel can be considered particularly bad because they stick to your teeth and hang on for a long time.
There are things you can do to prevent this sugar-breakdown process from happening – brush or wash your mouth out with water after you’ve had candy, brush at least three times each day and floss at least once – but the only surefire way to keep sugar from damaging your teeth is to not ingest it. Many popular candies have sugar-free versions, usually sweetened with xylitol, a sugar substitute that the streptococcus bacteria in your mouth can’t break down.
Whatever you do, always be sure to take everything in moderation, develop good dental habits and make sure to regularly visit your dentist.