With Halloween on the horizon, it’s a good a time as any to discuss the effects candy and sugary snacks can have on your gums and teeth. The most important thing to remember is that a little bit of candy is fine in moderation, but over time eating even a moderate amount of candy can result in a number of dental issues.
Did you know that your mouth contains bacteria called streptococcus? When most people hear the word bacteria, they think of something bad that can make you sick. Fortunately, our bodies contain a number of different types of good bacteria that actively work to keep us healthy. Streptococcus is one of these types, and it can actually feed on the sugar from candy you put in your mouth.
When streptococcus feeds on sugar, it actually breaks the sugar down, turning it into a type of acid that is harmful to the enamel on your teeth. The longer sugar is in your mouth, the more time it has to break down and wear away your enamel, which can lead to a number of problems; that’s why eating the occasional piece of candy is generally harmless to your teeth. Problems arise when sugar lingers in the mouth for too long.
We know your child probably loves dressing up for Halloween and going trick or treating, and we hope you have a safe and fun holiday. Just be mindful of how much candy your child eats, and maybe even substitute some pieces for sugar-free versions or other healthier snacks!