As much as we all strive to live healthily and feed our families balanced, nutritious meals, there’s no denying that candy is one of life’s fun little indulgences. And while most people would agree that enjoying a sweet treat every once in a while is perfectly fine, it’s especially important to keep proper oral care (like brushing twice a day, every day) in mind after enjoying those treats.
It’s also important to consider the types of candy we’re eating. As the American Dental Association (ADA) points out, when it comes to chocolate vs. chewy candy, one option is definitely better for our overall oral health!
Healthy Teeth: Chocolate Candy vs. Chewy Candy
According to Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, DMD, ADA-certified dentist, and dentistry practitioner in San Antonio, TX, “chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy.” Additionally, research into dark chocolate (which has less sugar than milk chocolate), suggests that the cocoa flavonoids it contains may help with blood pressure and heart disease. So if you or your kids are really itching for a sweet treat, try to opt for dark chocolate. The higher the cocoa count, the better!
On the other side of the spectrum, one of the worst kinds of candy for teeth is sour chewy candy. Not only can sour candy be “highly acidic,” chewy candy can be harder to remove from teeth, which means cavity-causing bacteria has more time to work.
Protecting Your Teeth From Chocolate and Candy
So what should you do if your kids (and you) still want to occasionally enjoy some gummy bears or candy bars? Make sure to fight back against cavity-causing bacteria with good brushing habits. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste — Aquafresh Bubblemint toothpaste for kids over the age of 2 and Aquafresh Extreme Clean Whitening toothpaste for adults — helps protect teeth from cavities and freshens breath. (Pro tip: make sure to talk to your child’s dentist first to find out the most appropriate time to get them started on a fluoride toothpaste.)