No Easter basket or egg hunt is complete without gobs of candy and other sweets. However, these treats are chock-full of sugar that threatens the health and appearance of your teeth. North Dallas dentist Darian Hampton has compiled a list of treats to enjoy and treats to avoid.
Licorice obviously isn’t as healthy as, say, an apple. But when eaten in moderation, licorice is better for your teeth than sticky, chewy sweets like taffy or gumdrops. Licorice root (little of which is found in the candy) is even used in Eastern and Western medicine to treat certain conditions like peptic ulcers, heartburn and bronchitis.
Enjoy: Dark Chocolate
In general, dark chocolate is healthier and better for the teeth than milk chocolate. It retains more of the cocoa bean during processing and is lower in fat. Hollow dark chocolate bunnies are one of your best options, since they don’t have a sticky or sugary filling. Aim for dark chocolate with 60 percent cacao, and individually wrapped chocolates, which help you control portion size.
Enjoy: Frozen Juice Bars
Frozen juice bars are a great choice to quell a sweet tooth without going overboard. Pick a delicious flavor like strawberry, coconut or orange.
Avoid: Cadbury Cream Eggs
Cream-filled eggs add extra sugar (and calories) to an overly sweet treat.
Avoid: Jelly Beans
Because of their consistency, jelly beans stick to the teeth for a long time and increase the risk of damaging tooth enamel.
Proceed with Caution: Jordan Almonds
Almonds are generally healthy, but these pastel-colored treats’ outer shell can be hard to bite and chew, putting you at risk of breaking or chipping a tooth. Proceed with caution.
Maintain Good Hygiene Habits
Make sure to continue regular brushing and flossing throughout the Easter festivities. If it’s common for your coworkers to circulate treats and candies, bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to the office so you can discretely sneak off to brush your teeth after enjoying a taste. Supplement your oral hygiene efforts with a well-balanced diet and plenty of water.