Valentine’s Day is full of chocolates and our kids collecting valentine candy from classmates. With the excitement of this holiday coming up soon, the Dentists at SoCal Dental Care offer these tips to protect your teeth during Valentine’s Day.
Valentine Candy to Avoid
It is probably unrealistic to expect patients of all ages to avoid candy altogether during Valentine’s Day, and believe it or not, some candy is better than others when it comes to dental health. Here are varieties of Valentine candy to avoid:
- Hard Candy – Suckers are a popular treat on Valentine’s Day, especially with kids, but basically give their teeth a sugar bath.
- Sticky Candy – The kinds of treats that stick to the surfaces of your teeth – like Laffy Taffy and caramels – promote tooth decay simply from being difficult to remove.
- Cheap Chocolate – If you want a chocolate fix, the cheap – and even mid-priced varieties – contain sugar and oil as the first two ingredients, then cocoa butter and chocolate.
Enjoy Some Sweet Treats
This is not to say that all candy is bad. When it comes to chocolate, choose a high-quality brand that is preferably 50% or more cacao. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants and tends to be more satisfying to the palate. Plus, it doesn’t contain extra ingredients to refine it. It is also frequently used to coat nuts and dried fruits, which are a better option than just straight candy on Valentine’s Day.
Other candies to consider include those made with xylitol, a sugar substitute that is not harmful to teeth. Another good option is sugar free gum, which satisfies with a sweet taste but no lingering sugar.
Limit the Valentine’s Day Candy
Candy, like many things, requires a healthy dose of moderation during consumption. Parcel out the candy so that you eat it with a meal, and then only a specific amount at a time. Hide the leftover candy in the freezer – kids tend not to look there – and allow a piece or two a day once Valentine’s Day has come and gone.
Opt For Non-Candy Fun
There are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day without having candy at all. Help kids make heart-shaped pizza for dinner and play board games or watch movies. Instead of treating kids and significant others with candy or other foods high in sugar and calories, consider alternatives like stickers, bottles of bubbles, temporary tattoos, special pencils and erasers, games and books. Take this opportunity to include a new toothbrush and toothpaste.
No matter what you decide to do for Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to brush and floss! Once the Valentine’s Day treats have been eaten, head to the bathroom to brush thoroughly and floss between teeth. Then give SoCal Dental Care a call at (818) 821-8308 for your next appointment!