Happy Valentine’s Day from Lane & Associates!
Let’s be honest, by this time in the year people are ready to indulge in some delicious candy and sweets – especially if they have been dieting since January 1st. It’s time for a treat! But what if we could choose some candies that not only taste delicious but that our teeth will thank us for later.
Today got us thinking, what treats should patients avoid the most on Valentine’s Day and how can we let our patients know of some healthier alternatives? Let’s dive in!
Our Top 5 Treats that you should avoid on Valentine’s Day include:
1. Hard Candy
2. Chewy Candy & Dried Fruit
3. Sour Candy & Acidic Foods
4. Sugary Drinks & Alcohol
5. Caramel Popcorn
Generally, these candies (Jolly Ranchers, BlowPops, Werther’s) take the longest to eat and therefore have a longer amount of time exposing your teeth to sugar. The sugar coats your teeth when mixing with saliva and makes it very difficult to wash away. Since the bacteria in your mouth also feed on sugar, this begins to break down your tooth enamel. Hard candy enthusiasts also love to chew on candy which makes them vulnerable to chipping, breaking, or cracking your teeth.
CHEWY CANDY & DRIED FRUIT
Chewy and sticky foods (like dried fruit) aren’t good for your teeth because they stick to the surface of your teeth and are even more difficult to remove. The longer the caramel inside of a chocolate surprise sticks to your teeth, the longer your teeth are exposed to sugar that leads to tooth decay.
SOUR CANDY & ACIDIC FOODS
This combination is a double whammy. In one instance, sour candy has a lot of extra sugar to compensate for the sour taste but it also has a ton of acidity that is known to break down the tooth enamel.
SUGARY DRINKS & ALCOHOL
If you suffer from dry mouth, sugary drinks and especially alcohol will only worsen the situation. Alcohol has a lot of added sugars and will also remove the amount of saliva your produce. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense system to fight plaque and acid so try to avoid especially sweet drinks this Valentine’s Day.
Popcorn, as we all know, has a tendency to get stuck in between our teeth. When food is trapped in between our teeth it creates a nice place for bacteria to grow. The added combination of caramel to our popcorn is almost the worst snack that we could choose on Valentine’s Day for our teeth.
SO WHAT CAN I EAT THIS VALENTINE’S DAY?
Some alternative snacks to indulge that sweet tooth:
- Sugar-free candies that contain Xylitol
- Non-acidic fruit
- Dark chocolate-dipped fruit
- Fruit popsicles
- Banana ice cream
- Frozen grapes
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate milk
Of course, we always encourage you to floss after indulging and rinse with mouthwash to keep your smile free of leftover plaque that sticks to your teeth.
Embrace your sweet tooth once more with these healthy alternatives and keep your smile looking “Be My Valentine” perfect.
Have more ideas for healthy Valentine’s Day alternatives? Reach out to your dentist today and let us know!