American poet Ogden Nash infamously penned, "candy is dandy but liquor is quicker," and in relation to negatively impacting dental health, his rhyme said a mouthful. In excess, both sugar and alcohol are known for contributing to dental problems including tooth decay and gum disease. However, there are a myriad of confectionery delights that can boost oral heath, thus putting liquor in its place.
In regards to dental health, not all candy is created equally, as some devices can help prevent cavities while others can destroy dental enamel and cause tooth erosion. Once such example of a smile killing treat is sour candy as the high acid levels in the treat has been clinically proven to soften dental enamel and up the odds of developing dental problems. Plus sugar-dense candies will provide a feast for hungry oral bacteria. Fortunately, there are still plenty of sweets that actually improve dental health.
For hundreds of years individuals have been able to get a powerful sugar rush due to the colorful sugar on a stick dubbed lollipops. Although their are some discrepancies surrounding when the treat first went mainstream, there is proof that royalty during the Middle Ages were some of the first to savor the flavor of the candy. At that time the candy was nothing more than boiled sugar eaten with the stick and since then the devices have evolved to come in hundreds of brands, flavors, shapes, sizes and colors. Despite the varieties available, only the candies made without sugar and contain licorice root have been determined to reduce the odds of preschoolers developing tooth decay.
New information unearthed by the Research and Data Institute has found that preschool children at a high-risk of developing tooth decay were able to curb the growth of the responsible bacteria by enjoying the suckers made by Dr. John's Candies of Grand Rapids, Michigan (http://drjohns.com/). The organization conducted a study of 66 children aged 2 to 5. Study participants received the specific lollipops "...10 minutes twice daily for three weeks," (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/232706.php). After consumption, the children's saliva was put under the microscope where it was discovered that levels of streptococcus mutans (the bacteria known for contributing to tooth decay) were lowered.
For thousands of years, dates have been a staple of Middle Eastern diets. The fruit is produced by a date palm tree and historically has been eaten straight or turned into wine. Now chefs have adapted the to be converted into delicacies wrapped with bacon, flavored with orange peel or incorporating dairy foods like cream cheese. Individuals who choose to eat nature's candy in its original state can help strengthen their tooth enamel and prevent dental plaque from forming.
By natural design, dates are full of fiber, potassium, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. The fruit is also characteristically rich in fluorine. Fluoride is a primary element found in the compound fluoride. According to 1-800-DENTIST "Throughout the day, your teeth are exposed to acids that can break down enamel and lead to tooth decay -- fluoride helps inhibit these acids from attacking the tooth surface."
Data indicates that Americans chew on approximately 300 pieces of gum a year. The chewable treat has a history dating back to the Neolithic period and now the market is flooded with dozens of brands and flavors of the treat. Individuals who go out of their way to select sugar free gum made with CaviStat, Xylitol or Recaldent can not only increase saliva production, but also get an additional boost due to the dental health fighting abilities of the additives.
CaviStat has been clinically proven to reduce cavities in children, Xylitol can reduce levels of tooth decay causing oral bacteria and Recaldent claims the gum can rebuild tooth enamel. The American Dental Association suggests that individuals looking to get the most oral health benefits from chewing gum should chew a sugar-free stick for 20 minutes after eating. For those looking for the added boost of the latest ingredients, choosing a brand with the ADA seal of approval will ensure there is scientific evidence backing up the claims.
It is important to note that while the candies may help boost dental health, they should not be used as a substitute fororal hygiene. Instead, consuming the candies in moderation in conjunction with brushing, flossing and regular dentist visits is essential. Those struggling to find a dentist to assist in the latter can rely on 1-800-DENTIST to quickly provide them with the contact name for nearby, screened dentist.