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Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program


The “tooth” about candy: It’s not all bad

If your sweet tooth won’t let you forget it’s National Candy Month, go ahead and indulge a little — just remember to choose wisely. We’ve listed the best and the worst choices to help you make a good decision:

The best

  • Sugar-free gum. As long as it doesn’t contain sugar, gum can be good for your smile. It stimulates saliva production, which helps fight dry mouth and rinses away food particles.
  • Dark chocolate. Chocolate is a better choice than most candy because saliva is able to rinse it from teeth relatively easily. Because it has less sugar than milk chocolate, dark chocolate is your best option.
  • Milk chocolate. Milk chocolate is a close second to dark, but avoid any with caramel, nougat and other sticky fillings.

The worst

  • Lollipops. Candies designed to be sucked on for a long period of time can bathe your teeth in a sugary solution for extended periods of time.
  • Candy corn. The sticky sugars in candy corn will cling to teeth long after the treat is gone.
  • Gummy candy. Gummy candies can also get stuck to and in between teeth. This feeds the decay-causing bacteria for a long time and can lead to cavities.
  • Caramel. Not only are caramels and toffees sticky, they can also pull out fillings!
  • Jawbreakers. Like lollipops, jawbreakers are designed to expose teeth to sugar over a long period of time. Plus, crunching down on a hard object is bad news for teeth! They’re called jawbreakers for a reason.
  • Sour and tart candies. Acidic candies provide a one-two punch: they wear down your enamel and are loaded with sugar, the perfect recipe for decay.

Regardless of what kind of candy you enjoy this month (or any other month), you can minimize the damage by following up sweets with some xylitol based sugar free chewing gum, a simple glass of water or a balanced meal. And, of course, brushing and flossing after meals, routine cleanings from your Delta Dental Federal Employees Dental Program participating network dentist—are the best ways to keep plaque at bay.

Learn more about National Candy Month Offsite link and other fun candy holidays. Then, head straight to our SmileWay Wellness Site for all the information you need about healthy eating choices to keep your teeth looking and feeling their best.