Is there any “Good” Candy?

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.

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Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss and a Fork 5

February is the month for love and what better way to express your love than with Chocolate.  But isn’t chocolate bad for your teeth? Surprisingly no! In fact chocolate can be good for your teeth as the following studies show.

dark chocolate

5. Chocolate

Candy is a dentist’s nemesis, but unique properties in cocoa and its husk actually maintain healthy teeth, according to several new studies.

Cocoa extracts work as well as fluoride to strengthen teeth and protect them from decay, Japanese researchers at Osaka University discovered. But not just any chocolate will do. 

Tulane University researchers compared different types of European chocolate and found that dark chocolate, made from 70% cocoa, had the most protective effect, because it contains the most polyphenols (health-boosting compounds) to protect teeth. 

And it doesn’t take much. Study participants ate a small 15 gram (g) piece of dark chocolate (approximately 76 calories). 

The 2007 study’s lead researcher Arman Sadeghpour, Ph.D., has patented, and is producing a new peppermint-cocoa toothpaste called Theodent, which he says is an effective natural alternative to fluoride toothpaste.

The Tulane study could prove beneficial especially since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded in 2011 that Americans might be getting too much fluoride from drinking water and food sources. Too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, resulting in a permanent staining of teeth and brittle bones. (lifescripts.com)

Wow, chocolate toothpaste. That could be a new Valentine’s gift!

Need your teeth whitened as well?  Give us a call to set up your appointment. Brogdon Dental 423-870-5698.

 

Is too much Candy a Treat or a Trick?

With Halloween happening this evening, many children will be going through their neighborhoods, going door to door chanting the words, “Trick or Treat”. Of course, they expect a treat, but how good are these treats for their teeth and are there some candies better than others?

The real problem isn’t so much the amount of sugar, but the streptococcus bacteria in our mouths that  feed on it. When this bacteria feeds on the sugary tidbits lodged in your teeth, they excrete acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.  That’s why it’s important to brush your teeth after eating candy.

If you must eat candy, there are some better than others.

  • Sugar-free Lollipops and Hard Candies and Sugar Free Chewing Gum: These act in similar ways by stimulating saliva, which prevents dry mouth. A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities. Also chewing sugar free gum containing the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol reduces cavities.
  • Dark Chocolate: Even though there is a lot of sugar in chocolate, dark chocolate has been shown to have antioxidants, which are good for your heath.  Just remember to eat in moderation.

Bad candies to avoid include:

  • Snacks high in sugar such as cake, cookies and candy corn.
  • Chewy sticky sweets such as gummy bears, taffy and caramels that can get stuck between your teeth.
  • Sour candies. Candies high in acid can break down tooth enamel.

One good thing to remember is that saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. After eating acidic foods, wait around 20 minutes before brushing to allow the natural acting saliva to do its thing, otherwise you might cause more damage by brushing acid onto tooth surfaces.

Candy can be a treat if you choose the right kind, and limit the bad ones.