Around this time of the year, we are often asked this question… Is there any good candy? Obviously, most sugar coated candies are bad for your teeth. Especially candies that stick to your teeth when you eat them. That not only includes candies but dried fruits as well which are full of sugars. Also lollipops are bad because they take so long to eat which allows the sugars to stay in your mouth for a longer time.
But are there any sugars that can be considered good for you? Dark Chocolate has many attributes that make it a good choice. Several studies have shown that it may be just as effective than fluoride in fighting tooth decay. Also, compounds in cocoa beans have an antibacterial effect that fights plaque. It also helps your heart too.
Since sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth, sugarless gum and candies are an alternative to sugar laced candies. Also choose a “candy bar” with lots of nuts which serve to break up the stickiness of most bars. When choosing a bar, why not pick a protein bar with more nuts and dark chocolate and less sticky sugars such as caramels.
Be sure to read the labels for the sugar content and avoid anything with high fructose corn syrup.
Have you heard that chewing gum can be beneficial to your dental health? Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.
A 2015 study published in the journal PLoS ONE states, chewing gum for up to 10 minutes can remove 100 million bacteria, or 10% of the microbial load in saliva.
Chewing gum also has an interesting history. According to wrigley.com…
People worldwide have chewed on natural materials for hundreds of years. Some of these materials include thickened resin and latex from certain types of trees, various sweet grasses, leaves, grains and waxes.
The ancient Greeks chewed mastic gum (or mastiche, pronounced “mas-tee-ka”) for centuries. This substance is formed from the resin contained in the bark of the mastic tree found mainly in Greece and Turkey. Grecian women favored chewing mastic gum to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.
The Indians of New England taught American colonists to quench their thirsts by chewing the gum-like resin that forms on spruce trees when its bark is cut. In the early 1800’s, lumps of this spruce gum were sold in the eastern United States, making it America’s first commercial chewing gum. Sweetened paraffin wax became an acceptable alternative around 1850 and eventually surpassed spruce gum in popularity.
Chewing sugar free gum can help your teeth in a number of ways. It increases the production of saliva, which helps neutralize plaque acids, it can help clean away food debris, can strengthen teeth, and can reduce the problems associated with dry mouth. Besides all that, it freshens your breath and tastes good too!
When choosing a sugar free gum it helps to look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.