Dr. Heath’s children, Greg and Josh, on their family sailboat in 1997.

The Sweet Truth: How Candy Affects Your Child’s Dental Health | Dentist Near Me

Topeka, Kansas Dentist

How frequently does your child indulge in candy? According to research from the USDA Economic Research Service, children under 12 consume an average of 49 pounds of sugar per year. While sugar lurks in various foods, the impact of sugary candies on dental health can be particularly detrimental. Here’s a closer look at the effects of candy consumption on your child’s smile and what you can do to mitigate potential damage.

Understanding the Role of Sugar in Dental Decay

The primary culprit in candy is its high sugar content. When consumed, certain bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, producing acid as a byproduct. This acid then attacks tooth enamel, leading to decay. While the mouth can counteract acids and remineralize enamel to some extent, excessive sugar intake overwhelms this natural defense mechanism. Hence, limiting sugar consumption and maintaining proper oral hygiene are crucial for dental health.

Beware of Sticky, Sugary Candies

Not all candies are created equal, and some pose greater risks to dental health than others. Sticky candies, for instance, adhere to the teeth’s surface, prolonging exposure to sugar and bacteria. Gum drops and taffy are prime examples of sticky candies that can accelerate enamel erosion. Similarly, suckers, lollipops, and hard candies pose risks due to prolonged exposure in the mouth, which can lead to enamel weakening and even tooth damage.

Gummy candies coated in sugar present a double threat, combining high sugar content with acidic coatings that further erode enamel. Popular treats like gummy worms or sour chewy candies can wreak havoc on dental health if consumed frequently.

Steps to Prevent Decay

Limiting candy consumption and sugar intake is key to safeguarding your child’s dental health. Encourage good oral hygiene habits by ensuring they brush their teeth for two minutes twice daily. Making brushing fun can incentivize compliance—try singing a song together or letting them choose their toothbrush and toothpaste flavor.

While candy can be an enjoyable treat, educating your child about its potential dental consequences is essential. Untreated decay can lead to pain and infection, emphasizing the importance of regular dental check-ups. Schedule your child’s next appointment with our dentist in Topeka at Heath Family Dentistry for a comprehensive examination and preventive care.

Don’t delay—contact our office today to prioritize your child’s dental well-being and ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Heath Family Dentistry of Topeka
Phone: (785) 234-5410
2714 NW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66617


Nothing but wonderful things to say about Dr. Heath. He is very patient and kind. He will walk you through every step and make sure you are comfortable the entire time. The office staff is very friendly and welcoming.

– Cheyenna W.

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Dentist in Topeka, KS


Topeka, KS Dentist

2714 NW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, Kansas 66617

Office Hours

Monday: 8am-5pm
Tuesday: 8am-5pm
Wednesday: 8am-5pm
Thursday: 7:30am-3pm
Friday: Closed
Saturday: Closed

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Dentist in Topeka, KS

Topeka KS Dentist

Dentist in Topeka
2714 NW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, Kansas 66617

(785) 234-5410