Valentine’s Day may be gone, but the piles of candy still remain. Sweet treats are still in the air and it seems the whole month is a time to celebrate with candy! Even though there is nothing wrong with enjoying your sweet treats, still beware of cavities and any other orthodontic damage. Specifically, if you are wearing braces, then you will need to stay away from certain candies.
Orthodontist John Karotkin, DDS advises his patients and readers to avoid the following worst Valentine’s candies for your teeth:
Hard candy, such as candy canes and jolly ranchers, can do a lot of damage to your braces. Part of your braces can very easily snap if you bite down on hard candy. Hard candy is also very high in sugar. Some of this sugar can get stuck in between your braces and trigger tooth decay. It is important to note that wearing braces puts you at a higher risk for developing tooth decay because braces tend make it harder for you to properly clean your teeth.
Sour candy, such as pink watermelon fruit sour candy balls and Sour Patch Kids, is very acidic. This acid can cause your enamel to deteriorate very quickly. Fortunately, saliva can help neutralize the acid in your mouth. If you choose to eat sour candy, then you will need to wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. You actually increase the erosive action when you brush your teeth right after you eat.
Caramel candy is very popular during Valentine’s Day. However, it is not a good idea for those who wear braces to eat caramel candy. The caramel can stick to your braces, and it is very hard to remove. You may also cause damage to your braces, which will require a trip to the orthodontist.
Just like caramel candy, taffy candy can very easily get stuck in between your teeth. Taffy candy can also pull apart your braces.
Lollipops are another Valentine’s Day favorite that braces wearers will unfortunately have to avoid. Simply biting into this candy can do a lot of damage to your braces. Furthermore, the high sugar content of lollipops also puts you at risk for developing tooth decay.
Chewy candy can very easily get stuck in between your teeth. It is very hard for saliva to wash away chewy candy. Dentists have stated that the stickier a candy is, the worse it is for your teeth.
Chocolate with Nuts or Caramel
Chocolate is not actually bad for your teeth. It dissolves very quickly in your mouth, which decreases the time that your teeth stay in contact with the sugar. Chocolate also contains calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth. However, chocolate with caramel or nuts can damage your teeth and braces.
Valentine’s day is meant to be enjoyed, so there is nothing wrong with having some sweet treats. However, you will have to be very cautious of what you eat if you wear braces. Certain candies can do a lot of damage to your braces (which can be very expensive to fix) and increase the risk of tooth decay. However, the list of what to avoid while wearing braces is not limited to candy or sweets. Colgate provides a helpful guide to Protecting Your Healthy Smile While Wearing Braces.