Dental Blog

Why Is Candy Bad for Your Teeth?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

We’re dedicating this month on the blog to talking about the upcoming Halloween holiday, which is, if we’re being honest, not our favorite 🙂 We’re all for fun and the occasional treat, but too much of it can land you in our offices for an unscheduled visit, and we (and you!) don’t want that.

So why is it that candy and sugar is so bad for teeth? Read on and we’ll explain.

For starters, you should know that your mouth is full of bacteria. Good bacteria. Bacteria that help break down the foods that you eat. When you bite into something, your teeth mash it, and the bacteria in your mouth go about breaking it down even further. You should also know that this process continues even after you’re done eating. A lot-not the majority, but a lot-of what you eat gets stuck in the crevices in your mouth. This is the stuff that the bacteria attack and break down.

Here’s where candy and sugar become problematic: Those same good bacteria that help you break down food happen to break sugars down into acids. Those acids are what can damage your teeth.

Imagine you’ve just eaten a candy bar: You chew, and most if it goes down. But you can still taste some little bits in your teeth. That stuff is just hanging out there, getting converted into other stuff that will slowly, over time, damage your teeth.

This is why sticky candies, like caramels, are particularly bad for your teeth. The longer the sugars have to linger in your mouth, the more chance the bacteria have to convert them to dental-damaging acids.

There are a few things you can do to prevent damage to your teeth from sugar:

• Eat less sugar.

• Avoid sticky sugars, like caramel.

• Brush and floss, or wash your mouth out with water after you’ve eaten.

Candy can be tasty, but remember, you only have one set of teeth. Trust us when we say, the real things are much better than replacements.