The 5 Worst Valentine’s Day Treats

shutterstock_46314703

 

Before you decide which sweets and goodies to get your loved ones this Valentine’s Day, you should know which common treats you should avoid that are the worst for your teeth.  Here are the top 5 Valentine’s Day treats that are the most harmful to your oral health.

 

Hard Candy

Even though cherry Jolly Ranchers are a tasty Valentine’s Day candy, they’re horrible for your teeth.  This means that watermelon BlowPops and the mystery Dum Dums are out as well.  Because hard candies generally take longer to eat, your teeth are exposed to sugar for a longer period of time. When the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, they break down into acids and eat away at your tooth enamel.  If you chew on hard candies, you’re vulnerable to chipping, cracking, or breaking your teeth.

Instead of opting for sugary hard candies, give your loved ones sugar-free candies to keep at work or around the house. There are multiple sugar-free options for the hard candies you enjoy.

 

Chewy Candy & Dried Fruit

Chocolate-covered caramels may be delicious, but they are a source of tooth decay.  Chewy candy and sticky foods (like dried fruit) aren’t good for your teeth because they stick on your teeth for longer periods of time, making it much harder for saliva to wash away.  The longer the caramel sits on your teeth, the longer your teeth are exposed to sugar that leads to tooth decay.

Give your loved ones a real fruit basket with dark chocolate this Valentine’s Day, an option that provides just as much flavor without increasing your risk of tooth decay.

 

Sour Candy & Acidic Foods

Sour Patch Kids and sour gummy worms are a favorite; when you get through that sour layer, you’re rewarded with a sweet, soft center.  However, sour candy is one of the worst foods you can eat because of the high acidic levels used to give the candy it’s sour taste.

If you do need a sour fix, choose a powdered sour candy that dissolves quickly.  Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth because you could easily brush your enamel away, softened by exposure to the acidic foods.

 

Sugary Alcoholic Drinks

If you or your loved ones already suffer from dry mouth, alcohol will worsen the condition.  Saliva is your mouth’s natural defense to fight plaque and acid.  Because alcohol dries out your mouth, it destroys your mouth’s natural defense to cavities. Stay away from alcoholic drinks that contain lots of sugar such as margaritas or mixed cocktails. The juice used to mix the drink usually has loads of sugar and will make your teeth week. For this very special day reach for a   glass of dry white or red wine, due to its low sugar content.  In moderation, wine won’t hurt you but it’s important to be careful, especially if you’re already fighting dry mouth.

 

Caramel Popcorn

Unfortunately, popcorn in a Valentine’s-themed canister isn’t a good idea, especially the popular caramel popcorn.  Popcorn, like potato chips, get wedged in between teeth and allow a place for bacteria to grow. Caramel coated popcorn will stick more to your teeth than the buttered type.  Also note that chewing on popcorn kernels towards the end of a movie with your sweetheart can easily chip or break your teeth.

It’s important to know what your valentine likes and what treats are best to give your loved ones that don’t put their oral health at risk.  The good news is that because of chocolate’s fast-melting property, it’s a good gift to give your loved ones.

If you want more ideas for tooth-healthy Valentine’s Day sweets for your loved ones, or if you need to schedule a dental appointment, contact Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas today.  We are dedicated to providing you and your family with the best dental care.