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Candy is one of the most popular gifts to give on Valentine’s Day, second only to cards. It’s the time for whispering sweet nothings in your sweetheart’s ear while slipping a heart-shaped candy into their hand.

On this holiday, we love to spend our cash on deliciously rich candies and not feel an ounce of guilt as we eat them. Unsurprisingly, around 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes are expected to be sold this year. Let’s take it a step further. Americans are expected to spend some $1.7 billion on candy this year alone.

Americans will #spend some $1.7 #billion on #candy this year alone. #Valentine’s #Day Click To Tweet

If you’re having a hard time imagining how much candy that amounts to – suffice to say that it’s a ton. Avoiding candy to watch your calories or dental health might be a bit unrealistic on Valentine’s Day. It’s your day to indulge in decadent chocolates and yummy heart-shaped candies.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is about enjoying love, friendship, and happiness. That’s hard to do without a sweet treat to lift your spirits and put you in a good mood. But, you can make healthier candy choices that will help to protect your teeth.

Show your teeth some love this Valentine’s Day, and check out these tips.

Know Which Candies Don’t Make a Love Match

Some sweets and candies can be more problematic for your teeth than others. For example, lollipops, caramels, and taffy stay in your mouth for longer, which means your teeth are exposed to the sugar residue that causes enamel erosion over time.

If you tend to break hard candies in your mouth well before they are ready to be broken, you should stop doing so. Hard candies can chip or crack your teeth, particularly if your chompers are already sensitive.

Gummy candies can also be detrimental for your dental health. These types of chewy candies tend to leave more residue on the teeth after they’ve been consumed. When bacteria comes into contact with that leftover sugar in your mouth, acid is produced. The acid starts eating away at the enamel of your teeth making them weak and sensitive. Before you know it, you have a toothache and a cavity.

Eating too many #hard #candies can lead to #plaque development and #tooth #decay. Click To Tweet

Chocolate is Your Secret Admirer

Of all the deliciously attractive candies on the shelf, dark chocolate is calling your name. Don’t you hear it? Instead of hard or gummy candies, opt for dark chocolate. It has a rich and somewhat bitter flavor with a smooth texture that is simply irresistible. If there’s one love for you in the world of candy, dark chocolate should be it.

Why is it so great?

The cocoa in dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants and can aid in preventing plaque and cavity development. Look for dark chocolate that has at least 50% cocoa, but beware chocolates that have sugar and oil as their first two ingredients are probably not the best choice for your dental health.

Love Your Toothbrush and Floss

Maintaining good dental hygiene practices is key for a healthy, bright smile. In fact, waiting some 30 minutes before brushing your teeth after eating acidic or sugary foods can help prevent discoloration and sensitivity.

The saliva production in your mouth is increased right after a meal, so it’s easier to wash away those pesky sugars that like to stay behind and cause trouble. Brush and floss at least twice a day to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay overtime.

On another note, be sensible. If you’re going to indulge in strawberry-flavored, Valentine’s Day Peeps and hard Sweethearts, practice good portion control. We all have our absolute favorite candies, so simply set a limit on how many candies you and your family can eat at a designated time.

The best time to eat your treats on #Valentine’s #Day is after mealtime. Click To Tweet

Make An Appointment With Us Today

Another essential part of good dental hygiene is to never miss your routine dental checkups. Heroes Dental offers a full range of services, including general dentistry, orthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and even pediatric services for little heroes across the Rio Grande Valley. Request an appointment after Valentine’s Day to make sure your pearly whites are in mint condition.

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