How Sugar Affects Your Teeth

As you prepare for holiday parties, trips, and menus, don’t forget about your pearly whites! When the ordinary routine is interrupted, many individuals forget simple habits such as tooth brushing, flossing, and more. Not only is it important to stay consistent with oral care, but it’s even more important this time of year!

Holiday Candy

It’s safe to say that Americans have their fill of candies and sweets all through winter. It starts with Halloween, moves into Christmas, and ends with Valentine’s Day. All of the candy that you bring into your house, or to your office may end up in your mouth. Not all candy is created equal. Some has less sugar, some is less sticky, some (like gum) may even be beneficial for your teeth. Be aware of what you’re putting in, and what it will do to your teeth—especially if you forget to brush. Candy is filled with sugar, and sugar raises the acid level in your mouth, causing plaque buildup, tartar, and eventually cavities. Instead of letting the holidays ruin your teeth, take control of your oral health.


Know Your Candy

–Sticky candy like taffy and gummies will stick to the surface of the teeth and in between the teeth for longer, and is more difficult to clean away.

–Hard candies and suckers stay in your mouth for long periods of time. The longer the sugary substance is in your mouth, the more your teeth and gums are exposed to the sugars. If you chew these hard candies, you can even break your teeth.

–Sour candy is usually more acidic, which is the culprit in tooth decay. Acid leads to plaque, plaque leads to cavities.

–Chocolate is easier to clean from your teeth and mouth. If your chocolate has nuts in it, make sure you floss afterward, as you may end up with decaying nut pieces between your teeth.


Maintain Your Dental Health Routine

–Pack your toothbrush when you are planning a trip.

–Brush twice daily, no matter where you are. If you usually use a power brush, but don’t want to take it with you, pack a manual brush for trips.

–Floss once per day, or after you’ve eaten popcorn, nuts, or other foods that may stick between your teeth. You can take floss with you everywhere you go, or invest in flossers.

–Chew sugar free gum between meals to decrease your chances of cavities and gum disease. Chewing gum increases the amount of saliva that neutralizes acids in the mouth.

–Sip on water throughout the day to neutralize acids in the mouth. Drinking enough water is very important, especially when you’re taking in more sugar than usual.


Just because you have a busy holiday season doesn’t mean your teeth have to suffer. Remember your good habits during all the fun, and then schedule your routine dental checkup after all the hubbub has passed.


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