Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, you may be aware that last month was National Candy Month, a time to appreciate sweetness. However, candy should be enjoyed in moderation. Read below for a few reminders about how candy can affect your teeth.
Candy and Tooth Decay
There is a saying that candy rots teeth. While this statement is not accurate in the strictest sense, it does address the worst possible eventuality for consuming too many sweets. Although the candy itself is not ultimately responsible for tooth decay, it does contain large amounts of sugar, a favorite food of harmful bacteria in the mouth. When these bacteria feed on sugar, they give off an acid byproduct that is capable of stripping teeth of their enamel. With less enamel, teeth are weakened and become more vulnerable.
Harmful bacteria in the mouth also tend to adhere to teeth, forming a clear, sticky substance called plaque, which sometimes hardens into tartar. Both plaque and tartar can be very difficult to remove, allowing the attached bacteria to attack teeth in the same area over and over again. As time passes, this concentrated damage can form a cavity, which can be repaired with a dental filling. If, however, the cavity is neglected, decay can continue until the bacteria are able to access the tooth’s pulp. Once inside the pulp, the bacteria can cause an infection that can eventually kill the tooth, causing it to fall out.
Enjoying Candy in Moderation
While candy is capable of feeding harmful bacteria in the mouth, consuming it in moderation is not likely to cause significant damage to teeth. Thus, be sure that if you celebrate National Candy Month, you do so with moderation. Also, you may consider trying sugar-free snacks and candies as more tooth-friendly alternatives.
Visit Your Williamsburg Dentist
In addition to observing a good diet, thorough homecare and regular dental visits can help you protect your teeth and prevent cavities. If you are due for a dental cleaning, contact our Williamsburg dental office today at 757-645-4055 to schedule an appointment.