Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Candy doesn't cause cavities! (ok, keep reading...)
We've all heard the phrase "sweet tooth," and many of us have one! It might be that secret desire to go gorge yourself on a giant ice cream sundae with all the sprinkles, nuts and fixing's possible at the local self-serve ice cream bar, or maybe its that gotta-have-it chocolate bar you grab at the
No one knows for sure where the phrase originated, some believe it was derived from the toothache you may feel when eating sugar, others say it's just the food-mouth connection. While opinions are split, people have referred to the "sweet tooth" since the 1400's as the desire to eat sweet foods. You can imagine our surprise when we staffers at Total Care Dentistry heard Dr. Dooley say it's OK to have sweets, "go ahead, it's that time of year," she said recently. What????? "Sweets don't give you cavities, that's only part of the story," she continued.
We had to hear more! Did we just get a free pass to eat sweets? Really? They won't hurt our teeth? Turns out Dr. Dooley's main point was that eating sugary treats isn't bad, as long as you don't let the residue sit inside your mouth afterwards. Candies and treats that are heavily chewed are concerning when you don't brush the leftovers out of the crevices of your teeth. Removing the gummy remnants and even flossing it out of tight spaces makes a major difference! Don't take this the wrong way, sugar isn't good for you. But simply eating a piece of candy won't hurt your teeth as long as you are diligent about your oral hygiene. Otherwise, the sugar you ate, can eat your teeth. Here's the scientific explanation for all you detail types:
"When sugar is consumed, particularly sucrose, naturally occurring bacteria inside the mouth interact with the sugar and produce acids that demineralize enamel on teeth. This demineralization process creates dental caries (lesions on teeth), which produce pain and, if left untreated, will erode and destroy teeth." (National Institutes of Health)
That said, if you experience pain or sensitivity when eating sweets, that could signal a problem. Please schedule an appointment to have the tooth examined and treated.
Willy Wonka's dad was a dentist after all, he had to know something about the whole thing, right?
So the next time a major candy holiday comes around, you can tell you Trick or Treater or Easter basket binger to go ahead... they may get a sugar high and bounce off the walls for a bit... but as long as they brush after they chow down, they should be just fine! Oh, and you should be too!