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Pediatric Dentist

3 Stocking Stuffers that Hurt Teeth

December 13, 2018

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Christmas is a wonderful time of year to gather with family and shower your loved ones in gifts and excellent meals. But, before you stuff your family’s stockings with care, be sure that you’re not packing it with anything that will hurt your children’s teeth.

Candy Canes 

The penultimate Christmas candy and stocking stuffer, the candy cane is sadly, terrible for teeth. Candy Canes are basically 100% sugar, and excessive sugar can lead to cavities. Sugar feeds the harmful bacteria on your teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This causes plaque and ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary snacks that you pack into your child’s stocking.

Peanut Brittle 

A holiday classic, peanut brittle is a type of very hard candy that is embedded with broken bits of nuts like pecans, peanuts and almonds – and all of that is bad news for teeth. The hard consistency of peanut brittle can chip and fracture teeth, and the sticky candy can get stuck in the hard-to-reach areas of teeth, and leave them more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.

Old Fashioned Christmas Candy 

Once a year, Christmas stockings everywhere are filled with Old Fashioned Christmas Candy – and it’s terrible for teeth and tooth enamel. Old Fashioned Christmas Candy is a bag of unwrapped assorted hard candies of all sizes and flavors, and that makes them a really attractive option for kids sitting down for a candy binge. Each of those hard candies is capable of cracking teeth, and can stick onto the surface of teeth and fuel tooth decay and cavities long after snack time has ended. Sorry ribbon candy lovers, but we advise you keep the Old Fashioned Christmas Candy out of your family’s stockings this year.

If You Must Pack Candy, then Pack Water, Too

If you just can’t avoid packing any of the above Christmas classics, we don’t blame you. But, you can help your family’s oral health by imploring them to drink water after enjoying any holiday candy. Water helps rid the tooth surface of sugar and food debris, which helps prevent cavities and tooth decay. It also encourages healthy saliva production, which naturally cleans teeth and keeps the mouth at a healthy ph balance.

Try Mouth-Healthy Stocking Stuffers Instead  

Instead of candy, you can stuff stockings with mouth-healthy items that your children will use long after Christmas is over. Dental floss, a new toothbrush, and xylitol sweetened gum are all excellent stocking-stuffers that can help improve your loved one’s smiles, and keep their teeth clean and healthy.  

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