We are committed to Children’s Dentistry and educating families about how to keep teeth healthy.
Is sugar bad for your teeth? Good question. This old adage is true and not so true at the same time. The amount of sugar is important but not as important as the frequency of the sugar intake. It’s actually better to chug a 40oz soda than it is to sip 4 oz of soda throughout the day; the same is true with sweets that we eat. (We’re not suggesting you drink a 40 oz soda…) Cavities happen because acid is formed by the bacteria that eat the sugars in our mouth. That acid breaks down the enamel and causes tooth decay. Limiting the sugar is good, but limiting the frequency is even more important.
Another myth or recommendation around Halloween is whether to brush your teeth after you eat all of that candy. Well, brushing after consuming a bunch of candy may actually be a bad thing. This is when our teeth are the softest. All that sugar raises the acidity in the mouth making the teeth most susceptable to abrasion or enamel loss. When the teeth are in a demineralized or softened state, we can actually brush away our enamel. Choose a mouthrinse with fluoride instead. This technique can harden the teeth while in this softened state. Unfortunately, when the enamel is gone, its gone. It won’t grow back. Brushing before drinking or eating food actually puts your mouth in a less acidic state. This keeps your teeth much stronger during those sugar binges that we have during Halloween.
Sticky candies are worse than softer ones. Sticky candy or foods can be bad for existing dental work. They can pull out fillings or crowns. Hard candies can break your natural teeth or dental restorations too. Gooey candy can stick to the teeth for long periods of time in the deepest grooves. Bacteria then eats the sugar that is wedged in the crevaces and hard to reach places for much longer. So stay away from sticky candies.