Tag Archives: sugar

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween – Best and Worst Candy For Your Teeth

October 12, 2018

Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year – not only can you indulge in unlimited candy, but you can dress up, watch scary movies and have a lot of fun!

With Halloween right around the corner, most children are preparing for duffel bags full of candy and easy access to all sorts of sweet treats (the average person eats 3.4 pounds of candy near Halloween!). With the holiday season approaching right after, our children (and ourselves) will be faced with an overabundance of sugary and starchy treats and sweets.

When we indulge on candy – the sugar combines with the bacteria in the plaque that exists on our gums and teeth. This combination produces an acid that triggers the tooth decay process.

There are precautions you can take to ease your mind about your children’s oral health during this sugar-coated holiday.

Drink more water to flush the mouth of sugars and acids

  • This helps to remove and wash away food particles and debris.

Eat candy with your meals

  • Try to eat sugary foods with meals or shortly thereafter. Saliva production increases during meals and helps rinse away food debris and acids produced by bacteria.

Avoid sticky situations

  • Avoid hard candies
  • Avoid chewy / sticky / gummy candies

These candies are much higher in sugar, and therefore stick to the teeth for much longer. It’s also much more difficult for saliva to break down these sweets. This includes hard candies, toffees and caramels, gummy bears, sour candy and jawbreakers.

The best candies are sugar free lollipops, sugar free gums, chocolate and peanut butter cups.

If the candy is lasting too long – try doing a candy swap with your kids! Trade them – their candy for stickers, or an outing to somewhere that they like.

When should you take your child to the dentist for the first time?

January 25, 2018

Getting your child comfortable with the dentist’s office and oral hygiene is equally as important as getting the checkup itself.

We recommend bringing your child in for their first visit within 6 months of their first tooth coming in, as tooth decay and plaque can start to show. Your child’s baby teeth will fall out but they still need care. Even though you can’t see them, your child’s adult teeth are growing underneath.


Mother’s milk, formula, cow’s milk and fruit juices all contain sugars.

Babies may get early childhood tooth decay from going to bed with a bottle of milk, formula or juice.

If your baby absolutely requires a bottle for bed, use water instead.

The first visit is meant to accomplish 3 things.

  • First, it’s meant to familiarize your child with the dentist’s office, allowing him or her to explore and become more comfortable. The dentist will only take a look at a child’s teeth once he or she is at ease.
  • Once trust is established, the tools used in dentistry will be introduced in an attempt to remove the fear associated with these items.
  • Lastly this visit allows the dentist to do a quick exam, looking for evidence of tooth decay. The dentist will check the child’s gums, jaw, and bite looking for any problems that may affect the teeth, or speech.

People who start proper oral hygiene habits early tend to:

  • End up with fewer cavities and gum infections
  • Increase their overall oral health
  • Gain a positive dental outlook (are less afraid or nervous of dental processes)
  • Have increased self-confidence

Check out 10 Ways To Make Brushing Fun For Your Child for some helpful ideas!

At Desired Smiles we are known for our unique Dental Program for children. It’s designed to educate children about oral hygiene and dental processes in an encouraging and relaxed way.

We offer three types of appointments for kids. Each child’s program is customized specific to their needs, age, developmental abilities and level of anxiety. We work with kids in a fun and captivating way. Contact us to learn more or book your appointment!

Tips for the parent:

Dentists are trained in describing dental procedures and processes to children in a non-threatening way.

  • Before the appointment, try not to share personal experiences unless they were positive.
  • Explain to them where they are going and talk about it in an excited manner rather than a nervous one
  • Remind them that dentists are there to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy.

Check out How To Get Your Child Ready For Their First Dentist Appointment for more tips!


It is important to start the oral hygiene process young, as the younger a child is when they’re exposed to new routines, the more likely they are to continue them into adulthood.

A Dentist’s Guide to Trick-or-Treating

October 28, 2014

We know what you’re thinking; a dentist is going to give away apples for Halloween, or worse – toothbrushes, so why should you even consider a dentist’s guide to trick-or-treating? While apples are a healthy snack and you should be brushing your teeth regularly, we also know how to have some fun! You can still enjoy treats like your trick-or-treat candy in moderation!

Just remember to brush away the harmful sugars so they don’t stay trapped in your teeth causing more damage.

Halloween is an exciting time of year! From getting all dressed up, to watching scary movies, or putting out treats for the adorable costumed visitors to your home. Are you wondering what candy you should set out this year?

Here’s a breakdown of the best and worst candy for your teeth:

The Worst

What makes candy bad for your teeth is usually the amount of time it spends in your mouth, as that gives it more time to cause damage to your teeth. These types of candy are notoriously bad for your teeth for this reason:

Hard candies

These candies require you to keep them in your mouth for a long time before they dissolve, causing your teeth to be exposed to sugar for a long time.

Sticky or chewy candy

Think caramel candy, gummy bears, or salt water taffy. These candies can easily get stuck between your teeth and cause damage.

Sour Candy

While the thrill of sucking on a candy that is so sour it makes you cringe is great, these candies have high acid levels. Acidity contributes to wearing down of enamel and children with softer enamel are especially at risk.


These candies live up to their name! They are hard enough to chip your teeth, which can result in an unplanned trip to the dentist.

The Best

All the candy that is bad for your teeth shouldn’t discourage you from setting out some delicious treats for your trick-or-treat visitors! There are plenty of candies that are less harmful for your teeth and safe to enjoy in moderation.

Sugar-free lollipops

Sugar-free lollipops help stimulate saliva production, which protects teeth from acids and sugars damaging them.

Sugar-free gum

Like sugar-free lollipops, sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva production. It also helps dislodge foods that are trapped between the teeth.


While chocolate is far from sugar-free, it melts quickly and therefore does not cause extensive damage to your teeth if consumed alone. However, you should be careful when choosing chocolate bars as they often have fillings like caramel, toffee, or nuts, which could be harmful to teeth.

Peanut butter cups

Similar to chocolate, peanut butter cups disappear from your mouth quickly and therefore do not cause as much damage as a candy that would stay in your mouth for a longer period of time.

While these candies are better alternatives to hard or chewy candies, an excessive amount of sugar can have adverse side effects for your teeth. So remember to enjoy the spoils of your trick or treat excursion in moderation! Happy Halloween!

Cavity Prevention Secrets

October 14, 2014

Before we tell you how to prevent cavities, you need to know exactly how they are caused. Cavities are the result of a tooth frequently exposed to acid, causing the enamel to lose minerals. Acidic foods like sugars and starches are a likely cause.

Removing these foods from your teeth promptly is the best way to begin your cavity prevention routine. You can do this by brushing properly. Make sure you spend roughly 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your mouth and that you brush twice a day. Floss daily to supplement brushing by cleaning every part of your teeth.

If you are still getting cavities even with thorough brushing and flossing, you should consider cutting down your sugar intake. Cutting back on sugar can be a difficult undertaking, so sometimes it is easier to start small. Being more vigilant about brushing after meals or sipping on water after you eat to wash away acidic food particles can help keep your teeth cavity-free.

Visiting your dentist twice a year is also vital in helping keep those cavities at bay. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned and examined, meaning problem areas can be addressed. Problem areas that can become potential cavities can be addressed by your dentist before they become a big problem.

Worried about getting cavities? Contact us for a free smile analysis today!