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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner

By: Dr. Elizabeth Craig | January 22, 2016

Valentine’s Day for children is not really about love for significant others, but more of their love for candy. While it would be easy to say to eliminate the sugary candy, that is not very realistic. Instead, it is important to note which candies to stay away from, and which are better to promote for your children. I know for my children in elementary school there are strict rules on what they can bring to their class party, it must be individually wrapped with a nutrition label on it. Here are some of my favorite ideas to share the love (of candy) on Valentine’s Day and also which ones to pick out of their pile they get:

• Powdery Candy: While powdery, sugary candy such as Pixie Stix, Sweet Tarts, and Sweet Tart Hearts (perfect for showing your love on Valentine’s Day) may seem like a bad choice, they are surprisingly not as harmful as you may think as far as candy goes. If eaten or dissolved on the tongue, the sugar that feeds the bacteria that causes decay is not as exposed to the teeth, eliminating much of the risk.
• Chocolate: Who doesn’t love chocolate? There are many options for individually wrapped chocolate bars perfect for classroom treats. This is a good option because Chocolate contains cocoa, which inhibits the growth of the bacteria that causes plaque.
• Of course now the best option here is Sugarless Candy: There are many options here which keep your teeth healthy while still tasting great! Ex. Sugar Free Lollipops, Sugar Free Gum, and Sugar Free Hard Candy’s (so many to choose from).

Shy away from:
• Sour Candies: These acidic candies quickly strip away enamel. If they do eat these, it is better to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing teeth as to not spread the acid onto more tooth surface area. Ex. Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, and Airhead Extreme Sours
• Hard Candy: Solid treats are bad for teeth because they take longer to dissolve. This means more time for the bacteria from them to begin to decay the teeth. Ex. Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, Zotz
• Sticky and Chewy Treats: Gummy treats are easy to get caught in teeth crevices and are very difficult for saliva to wash away. The sugar remains and causes decay in teeth. Ex. Gummy Bears, Jelly Beans, and Twix

With these helpful tips, we at Craig Dental Center hope you show off your great smile to others on Valentine’s Day!

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