Are you planning to snack on a candy bar this Halloween? As October arrives, candy will be consumed at alarming rates throughout the country, by adults and children. The amount of sugar and acids found in Halloween candy can be extremely harmful to teeth — and lead to cavities — which leads to toothaches.
Rule number one is stay away from chewy candies, like caramel. Rule number two? Don’t eat sour candies; they have an unusually high acid content. Third but not least, limit the amount of candy you eat, and limit the time in which you eat it. Eating a candy bar and a handful of candy corn in a matter of minutes is better for your teeth than grazing over these treats for hours.
But, there is life outside of candy! Fall has a host of delicious foods to offer. Dr. Amanda Foust recommends a few orally healthy alternatives to candy this fall season.
Chicken Improves Dental Health
When sugary foods are consumed, a chemical reaction occurs with saliva, and this creates and acidic environment in the mouth. Acids extract enamel-strengthening minerals from teeth, leaving them vulnerable to bacterial attack and cavity formation. Foods rich in phosphorus are proven to aid in re-mineralize teeth. The substantial levels of phosphorus in chicken react with calcium to help keep teeth healthy, while also reducing risk of decay. Chicken and dumplings, chicken tetrazini, and oven-roasted rosemary chicken are great additions to a fall menu.
Milk and Apples Benefit Teeth
Cheese, milk, and other dairy products also promote good oral health. Dairy items provide calcium that strengthens tooth enamel and bone tissue (as in jawbone tissue). Not only are dairy foods rich in calcium, but they contain little sugar. Cheese is also known to coat teeth and protect them from staining. If you like dark wines, eat a few cheese cubes before indulging. An array of delectable cheeses, along with pears, grapes, and apples can make a delicious fall snack for the whole family.
And speaking of apples, an apple a day won’t keep the dentist away, but it is still recommended. Apples are one of the best fruits to ward off tooth decay. While stimulating saliva flow, apples also clean teeth, removing excess food and plaque. Be careful, though. Apples are high in natural sugar, so rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Schedule Your Visit
If you plan to celebrate October with candy and sweets, be sure that you’ve attended your six-month checkup. At Dental Impressions of Ankeny, we provide dental care for the whole family. Contact our 50021 dental office by calling (515) 965-0230 to schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve patients from Polk City, Bondurant, Elkhart, and Alleman.