Whether it’s the colorful packaging or the promise of sugar, candy is often a favorite among children, even if they only have it on special occasions. Although candy and sugar are never beneficial for your child’s teeth, sweets are generally an unavoidable part of raising kids! So which candies are the best and worst for your child’s teeth so you can choose the right sweets when letting your children indulge?
Although chocolate might not seem like the best type of candy, it actually tends to be less harsh on teeth than other sweet treats. Even if you opt for milk chocolate, it’ll provide some nutrients for your little one’s teeth such as calcium. However, dark chocolate is always the better choice, as it tends to have less sugar and more antioxidants .
Worst: Sticky Candies
Sticky candies such as caramel, gummy bears, or sour candy are the worst for teeth for a couple of reasons. The first is that they stick to teeth for much longer than chocolate, increasing the chances that they’ll cause tooth enamel damage. The second is that candies such as gummies or sour candies tend to be much more acidic than other sweets, which can also accelerate tooth enamel damage, leading to tooth sensitivity and even cavities.
Best: Candy Bars With Nuts
Not only are nuts nutritious, but they can help break up chocolate and prevent it from sticking to teeth. Any candy bars, or even granola bars, that contain nuts can be healthier than having your child eat straight chocolate or gummy treats. Almonds, cashews, and peanuts can all be tasty and healthy considerations in candy bars!
Worst: Hard Candy
Hard candy such as jawbreakers, fireballs, Jolly Ranchers, and even caramel candies can wreak havoc on teeth. Not only can these candies damage orthodontia if your child has braces, but they tend to take longer to break down in the mouth, which means kids can suck on them for a longer period of time, exposing their teeth to sugar that can harm tooth enamel.
Best: Sugar-Free Gum
While it may not sound very fun to kids, sugar-free gum has actually been shown to help prevent tooth decay . Chewing gum not only stimulates saliva production, but can help buffer acids that can harm tooth enamel. Sugar-free gum comes in a variety of flavors so you can still get kids excited about the prospect of candy, but without the cavities that come with conventional sugar!
Don’t Miss Your Child’s Check-Ups!
Even if your child isn’t big on candy, it’s important not to miss their regular check-ups with their dentist. Your dentist can spot tooth enamel damage early to help prevent cavities and encourage proper brushing habits in kids as they get older. Have questions about your child’s sugar consumption? Don’t hesitate to ask your dentist!