We love a good romance, but frankly, the tradition of giving the gift of candy for Valentine’s Day is not our idea of the best sweet treat for your sweeties. “It sure is hard to avoid sugary treats on Valentine’s Day,” said Dr. Tony Thomas, lead dentist at Advanced Smile Care of North San Antonio. “You just need to pick the right types of candy that aren’t going to promote tooth decay.” Take a look at these tips for a guide of what to buy and what not to buy.
#1 The darker the chocolate the better
The key is the cocoa bean which contains strong antioxidants that help prevent tooth decay and benefit your entire mouth. The strong set of antioxidants include polyphenols, tannins and flavonoids which work together to keep the mouth healthy. Polyphenols fight bacteria by helping eliminate bad breath, stopping gum infections, and also fighting tooth decay. Tannins not only give dark chocolate its bitter taste and dark color, but they also prevent cavities by preventing bacteria from adhering and erodingyour teeth. The flavonoids also help to slow down tooth decay.
“These antioxidants also improve the health of your oral hygiene by gum disease, which as a byproduct, also fights heart disease, because your oral health is inextricably linked to your overall health,” said Dr. Thomas who added that risk of heart disease goes up when periodontal disease enters the bloodstream causing cardiovascular problems. The higher the cocoa content the better.
#2 Skip the milk chocolate
When people hear the word “milk”, they often they think of calcium and the benefit that mineral has for your teeth. But the excess milk in milk chocolate actually contributes to a high content of fat in milk chocloate, which in turn, lowers the cocoa content. We believe the added sugar and fat in milk chocolate make it a terrible choice for a daily snack, and one you wouldn’t want to give your loved one if you cared about their oral health.
“However, if milk chocolate is what your sweetheart desires, remind them to floss and brush their teeth or at least rinse their mouth out with water after snacking on their sweets,” said Dr. Thomas. Doing so will help cut down on the chance of any plaque build-up.
#3 GO FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN CANDY
Chocolate may be the go-to treat for the holiday, but there are other options out there other than candy for which your mouth will thank you, and may also come as a welcome surprise for your loved one. Heart shaped fruit slices is one recommended option.
Consider buying a cookie cutter and making your love shapes out of apples, cantaloupe, melon, or kiwis for a healthy and delicious treat. You could also score points by showing you put in extra effort for this Valentine’s Day present and didn’t just run to the store and pick up a heart-shaped box full of candy.
#4 CRANK UP THE KISSING
We all know Valentine’s Day is about showing the love, and there are few ways better to do so with your sweetie than kissing. According to My Orthodontist, kissing stimulates the production of saliva which naturally washes bacteria out of your mouth. So it is a win-win, not just for the romance but also for the health of your teeth.
Also remember that showering love and attention upon your teeth shouldn’t just happen on Valentine’s Day but year-round. So make sure to go easy on the candy, brush twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to make sure your teeth stick around for many more Valentine’s Days to come.
COME SEE US:
For nearly 40-years, our team led by Dr. Tony Thomas, DDS, has been San Antonio’s premier dental practice for creating transformational smiles. At Advanced Smile Care, we do it all. Whether it be a full-smile makeover, dental implants, dentures or sedation to get you through your treatment, as we like to say, “It shouldn’t hurt to smile.”