Religious observances, the Easter Bilby (or bunny!) or watching children hunt for eggs are among the events we associate with Easter.
And we rarely think that Easter can be a threat. But it can be scary for a parent (or adult with a sweet tooth!) to enter a store around the Easter season.
There is so much sugary junk available, and all in bright, attractive colours and near cash registers. Easter candy is a big business, and it’s our teeth that lose.
It’s easy to think “oh, just this once.” But that way of thinking can have long-term effects on habits and health.
Sugar is terrible for your teeth and health in most cases, and the sheer amount of it around on Easter, and how sticky, sweet, and sometimes hard it is, can offer a variety of threats to your health.
In this post, Bondi Dental will give you the scoop on Easter candies, as well as six quick ways to deal with the threat of a sugar-saturated Easter.
The Bad Candies
The bacteria present in your mouth are probably more thrilled to eat Easter treats than you are.
When the bacteria consume the sugar and leftover food particles in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid contributes to the formation of cavities.
Chewy candies. Chewy or sticky candies are more likely to stick to the teeth and get stuck between them, lengthening their exposure to sugar.
These candies can also pull at fillings, crowns, and other dental appliances. So avoid treats like jellybeans, taffy and gummy candies, along with sweets featuring marshmallow or caramel.
Hard candies. Hard candies are a threat similar to chewy candies – they take a long time to dissolve and expose teeth to sugar for more extended periods.
Chewing hard candy can lead to pieces stuck between teeth, exposing more of the surface to sugar.
Hard candy poses other threats; biting down on hard candy can lead to lost fillings, broken dental appliances, and cracked teeth.
Sugar-filled candies. These are the general threat – the sugar in them is eaten by bacteria and excreted into substances that form plaque and attack the teeth.
These threats are true of any food with a lot of sugar – sodas, cakes, energy drinks, etc.
Sour candies. These candies can be very acidic. Sour candies can weaken and damage the tooth enamel, making them vulnerable to cavities.
The Good Candies
Some candies are less damaging to your teeth than others. Here some candies that are good for you (in moderation!):
Sugar-free candies. Sugar-free candy is the great compromise – it is far smarter for your teeth but still allows you a little bit of indulgence.
With no sugar, you are less likely to get harmful bacteria. And since these candies stimulate the salivary glands, they can help fight cavities instead of leading to them. The same is true of sugar-free gum.
Dark chocolate. Organic dark chocolate with a sugar content of no more than 6-8 grams per serving can be healthy. It contains flavonoids to slow tooth decay and antioxidants to fight gum disease. Don’t go overboard, but if you have candy choose dark chocolate
Six tips for Easter Health!
- No grazing. It is far better to eat your candy all at once. This limits how long it is on your teeth. Eating candy with a meal is better, as the other food and increased saliva protecting your teeth.
- Rinse with water. Surprisingly, immediate brushing can harm your teeth, as candy temporarily softens your tooth enamel. Wait about 30 minutes for the enamel to harden back up. In the meantime, rinse with water, which helps sluice out the mouth and maintain a healthy pH. Water is your best friend in other ways – drinking water before meals can reduce hunger and drinking while you eat helps keep your teeth clean.
- Stay in your routine. As always, floss once and brush twice daily. Don’t let the excitement of the holiday break your oral health routine.
- Eat “cleansing” foods. “Crunchy” fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery stimulate saliva production, which helps to protect the teeth from bacteria, by helping to break down and wash away sugars. Alternatively, enjoy a small piece of cheese, as this helps neutralise the acids that cause tooth decay.
- Control what you eat with breakfast. No matter how ‘out of control’ your exposure to snacking might be or how many enormous family or friendly meals you are invited to, you have control over breakfast. So be sure to get your nutrients during breakfast and don’t add any sugar in the form of cereals or additives to your coffee or tea.
- Visit your Bondi dentist. Once Easter is over, and the Easter Bilby is gone, make appointments for your whole family at Bondi Dental. We’ll give your teeth a good checkup and clean, recommending treatment if necessary. This is one of the best ways of ensuring your dental health for Easter and beyond.
The Bondi Dental Advantage
Bondi Dental is conveniently situated in the Eastern Suburbs. Our dental professionals have more than six decades of experiences in all areas of dentistry.
We provide high quality preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental services for all patients in the region. We offer free parking and FREE Dental Consultations including complete dental check-ups.
We are open 7 days a week 8am – 8pm!