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Is Candy the Real Enemy?

Candies play a huge part in our childhood. As children, we often received candies as birthday treats or as a reward for a job well done.

A lot of us have carried over the tradition, and although we know that sugar-packed candies offer zero nutritional value, we too often succumb to our young ones’ pleas for sweet treats.

SEE ALSO: Much Ado About Chocolates

According to the American Dental Association, hard candies like lollipops and mints put your child’s teeth at risk because besides being full of sugar, they can also potentially trigger a dental emergency such as a chipped or broken tooth.

Hard candies seem harmless, eat too many & the constant exposure to sugar can harm your teeth! #foodtip pic.twitter.com/tUkRiUQGQS

— ADA (@AmerDentalAssn) May 2, 2017
Our Specialist Pediatric Dentist, Dr. Imneet Madan explains why candy is not solely to blame and that other factors contribute towards your child’s tooth decay.

Is candy the main cause of cavities?

Many of us tend to believe in the age old fundamental that candies are synonymous to cavities. The truth of the situation is a bit different. Of course, candies contain a lot of sugar and are sticky which only makes the situation worse. But the truth is, candies and refined sugars are not the only cause of cavities.

What causes tooth decay?

The basic phenomenon of carious decay is the presence of substrate, tooth, microorganisms and time. Substrate refers to any form of carbohydrate like fruits, pasta, cookies, candies, bread, juices or even milk.
Bacteria cannot differentiate between refined and natural sugars. Instead, they identify the ultimate product which could be any form of simple sugar; fructose (fruits), lactose (milk) or glucose (carbohydrates). When bacteria work on these sugars, they produce acid which breaks down the tooth structure leading to cavities. To prevent decay as much as possible, we should brush our teeth and rinse our mouth after consuming sticky foods.

Does time play a big role towards tooth decay?

Time definitely plays a role towards tooth decay. If you have a lot of candy frequently it can lead to tooth decay faster. However, you can reduce this risk if you consume refined sugars and then rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth. This factor reinforces the need to follow the rule of thumb when it comes to eating: three meals and two healthy snacks in between.

Are any other factors involved?

A huge percentage of cavities in children happen in between the teeth followed by decay growing on the top surfaces of the teeth which means flossing should be part of your child’s daily oral hygiene routine.

These facts highly signify why candies should not be taken as the sole enemy of kids’ teeth. The important factors are the time of consumption, frequency of consumption, type of carbohydrate and oral hygiene care routine. Regular or periodic dental exams help in revealing any incipient decay which can be then stabilized rather than filled.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our Specialist Pediatric Dentists at Dr. Michael’s Children’s Dental Center in Dubai. We’d love to help!

Dr. Imneet Madan
Specialist Pediatric Dentist
MSC Lasers Dentistry (Germany)
MDS Pediatric Dentistry
MBA (Hospital Management)
Children’s Dental Center, Dubai

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