MADISON, Wis. (7/2/12) – For many, the movie theater experience isn’t complete without a trip to the concession stand. But those sugary, sticky, and butter-laden snacks are scarier than a blockbuster horror flick and play a big role in tooth damage, staining and cavities, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
Here’s a round-up of the best and worst theater snacks for your teeth from a panel of AACD dental experts including AACD President Dr. Ron Goodlin, DDS, from Toronto, Ontario, Dr. Colleen Olitsky, DDS, from Jacksonville, Fla., and Dr. Kellee N. Stanton, DDS, from St. Paul, Minn.
“Crunching down on an un-popped popcorn kernel is a common cause of painful dental fractures,” the panel points out. Each dentist noted that they have treated patients for broken teeth from popcorn. “Popcorn husks can also become lodged between the back teeth and gums, often requiring a course of antibiotics to clear up the resulting infection after removal.”
Soda is another concession culprit and carries a one-two punch, according to the AACD expert panel. First, there’s the high sugar content. Next, and even worse, is the high acidity level which wears down tooth enamel. Acid levels are ranked on the pH scale where the lower the number, the more acidic the substance is. Whereas battery acid ranks at 1.0 on the scale, soda ranks near or below a 3 compared to water which ranks at 7.0 (neutral). It’s not surprising that AACD experts recommend bottled water or club soda or even opting for a small soda to reduce the damage.
“The reality is that most people will continue to enjoy their favorite snacks at the theater,” says Dr. Ron Goodlin, AACD president. “Do yourself a favor and rinse your mouth with a glass of water after indulging in sweets to wash away excess sugar and acids; and don’t forget to bring your dental floss.”
The AACD is the world’s largest non-profit member organization dedicated to advancing excellence in comprehensive oral care that combines art and science to optimally improve dental health, esthetics, and function. Comprised of more than 6,300 cosmetic dental professionals in 70 countries worldwide, the AACD fulfills its mission by offering superior educational opportunities, promoting and supporting a respected Accreditation credential, serving as a user-friendly and inviting forum for the creative exchange of knowledge and ideas, and providing accurate and useful information to the public and the profession.