Valentine’s Day is a holiday renowned for its celebration of timeless love, undying passion, and sweets. Unless you want to be scorned by your loved one, there’s pretty much no way of escaping giving decadent treats as a present. However, that doesn’t mean you have to completely throw your dental hygiene out the window. By taking a bit of time to research the candy and chocolate market, you can choose valentine’s day treats that won’t be harmful to you and your loved one’s teeth.
1. Dark Chocolate
It might be hard to believe, but chocolate is actually one of the best Valentine’s Day treats for your mouth. Because it melts so quickly, it doesn’t stay on your teeth for very long, lowering the chance of decay. For an even lower risk of dental problems, choose dark chocolate as it has less sugar than milk chocolate.
2. Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Along the same line of thought, chocolate covered strawberries are also a good and healthy treat. As an added bonus, strawberries are a natural way of whitening teeth, helping you to look your best. Just drink a glass of water afterwards to wash away any lingering sugar.
3. Fresh Fruit Arrangements
While it might not be as traditional, fresh fruit arrangements are a new trend sweeping the nation. These bold and colorful arrangements feature a number of different fruits for you and your loved one to savor. Plus, fruit is packed with essential nutrients which contribute to overall wellbeing.
4. Cheese and Crackers
This might sound like a lame option, but if you invest in a heart-shaped cutter to slice your cheese with as well as heart-shaped crackers, it will be a lot more creative. Even better, cheese and crackers pair perfectly with a glass of dry white wine (avoid red wine as it stains teeth).
5. Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate pudding can be just as decadent and creamy as a piece of chocolate but comes without the risk of getting nutty filling stuck in a hard-to-reach tooth crevice. You can even prepare it with less sugar for more dental safety.
Foods to Avoid
While there's no candy that's particularly great for your teeth, there are some you should downright avoid altogether. For example, candies that take a long time to chew, such as hard candies or sour candies, stay in your mouth longer and leave you more susceptible to a bacterial infection. Not only that, but these can end up cracking or damaging dental implants or fillings.
If you suffer from dry mouth, it’s important to avoid sugary beverages, especially those with alcohol. These can dry out your mouth even more and let bacteria begin to take hold. Lastly, any type of sweet popcorn, such as caramel corn, can be disastrous, as the small, sugar-coated popcorn kernels get stuck in hard-to-reach places in your teeth.
As with most things, moderation is key to dental hygiene. As long as you are conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth and brush and floss after eating, you should be able to prevent most cavities. However, if you do overindulge and find yourself needing an experienced dentist to perform cavity work, Dr. Mann is here to help you. Simply call and make an appointment with us today.