People at our offices often ask, “What types of candy don’t cause cavities?” Candy and other sweets can wear on our teeth and cause cavities, but some are less damaging than others. If you have a sweet tooth, you’re not alone! Most children and their grown-ups LOVE candy. It’s hardwired into our biology. As long as humans have been around, natural sugars have offered energy and helped us store fat. This is great for survival, but not so great for the way many humans live today! This is why few things are sweeter than biting into a sugar-filled treat.
Types of Candy That Don’t Cause Cavities
Here are the top 5 candies that are less likely to lead to cavities.
- Chocolate: Considered the best candy for teeth, chocolate easily washes off your teeth’ surface. It doesn’t stick around causing cavities or other types of tooth damage. Dark chocolate is the best type of chocolate for oral health as it contains less sugar. Some research has found compounds in dark chocolate that can help harden tooth enamel and provide plaque-fighting benefits. Like we needed more reasons to love chocolate!
- Sugar-free candy: Sugar stimulates bacteria growth in the mouth, so options without sugar are a great way to reduce cavities. Sugar-free hard candies stimulate saliva production, washing away bacteria and plaque that cause cavities. But be aware that sugar-free candies contain artificial sweeteners that may be bad for other aspects of your health. Though these types of candy don’t cause cavities, they might be a treat to indulge in moderation.
- Candy with nuts: Cavities are more likely to develop when candy sticks to your teeth. Nuts in candy break up stickiness from other ingredients, decreasing the chance of creating cavities. The crunch of the nuts is a little abrasive and can help to break up some of the plaque on your teeth without harming them. And of course, nuts are a healthy source of fiber and healthy fats too!
- Sugar-Free Gum: We can’t always brush and floss between meals. But chewing sugar-free gum between meals helps protect your teeth and gums. Your teeth are exposed to more acid right after you have eaten. This acid is produced by plaque, bacteria, and the sugars in our food and drink. It slowly dissolves away the enamel and dentine of the tooth, to produce a hole or ‘cavity’. Chewing sugar-free gum helps the mouth produce more saliva to wash it away – your natural defense against acid.
- Candy with reduced sugar: Some innovative thinkers have begun creating candies that taste just as good as that sugar-filled treat our bodies crave– but with much less sugar. SmartSweets make gummy candies and licorice with plant based ingredients, no artificial sweeteners or dyes, and up to 92% less sugar than traditional candy! Unreal creates delicious chocolates using simple, organic, sustainable, non-GMO project verified ingredients. Their chocolates contain up to 51% less sugar than the leading brands.
It is also wise to eat most treats with other food. Because your mouth makes more saliva during meals, it helps to reduce the effect of acid production. It also washes away sugars and restores the PH balance of your mouth. So the next time your cravings kick in, satisfy your sweet tooth with a treat that gives you and your teeth a few benefits, and leaves your smile sparkling! If you have any questions about what types of candy don’t cause cavities, please talk with one of our dentists at Mountain View Pediatric Dentistry. We love candy too, almost as much as hearing from our sweet patients.