Valentine’s Day is almost here, and amidst the panicked rushing of significant others trying to buy the perfect gift for their loved ones, you may be able to make out the collective sigh of every dentist in the country. Americans spend nearly one billion dollars on chocolate and candy alone for Valentine’s Day, so once the clouds of love have cleared, you may want to consider calling your dentist so you can show your teeth some much needed love too.
Chocolate, Chocolate, and More Chocolate
Chocolate has the potential to be incredibly damaging to your teeth, as well as your general health. A decent rule of thumb with chocolate is, the lighter the chocolate, the worse for your teeth, and the more additives it has—nuts, caramel, creams—the more important it is to clean your teeth after indulging in some. White and milk chocolate have a great deal of sugar in it, and sugar is what the bacteria in your mouth feeds on, creating plague. Meanwhile, the sticky insides of a lot of Valentine candies, like caramel and cream, can get stuck between your teeth and be converted into the acid that eats away at tooth enamel if not cleaned off immediately. The one saving grace of chocolate is dark chocolate, which naturally has an organic compound called tannins. The tannins in 70% or more dark chocolate counteract acid production in your mouth, which means that your tooth enamel is not in as much danger when you eat it.
Those Pesky Candy Hearts
Hard candy is probably one of the more dangerous members of the candy realm, because it has the potential to send you to the dentist for some very expensive work if you’re not careful. Hard candy is not meant to be chewed on, but people often find themselves sitting in the dentist’s office with a cracked or chipped tooth because they did exactly that. If you’re going to eat hard candy at all, you should only suck on it, but that also presents danger, as the steady stream of sugar feeds the bacteria in your mouth, causing plague and cavities. As cute as they are, to be on the safe side, rather than depending on a candy heart to tell your significant other that you love them, telling them with a card or in person is probably best.
Be Nice to Your Teeth and Your Dentist for Valentine’s Day
As long as you are caring for your teeth after indulging in your Valentine chocolates, your dentist isn’t going to tell you to stop eating it, though everything in moderation is the key to happiness in oral health. If your significant other surprises you with something delightfully delicious on Valentine’s Day, be as excited about it as you want, then call Dr. Bruce Silva’s office to make an appointment for a cleaning. Two check ups a year is one of the three keys to good oral health after all.
Feel free to call Dr. Silva’s office if you have any other questions about Valentine’s Day candy or for any of your oral health concerns, and have a safe and wonderful Valentine’s Day.