Should you eat caramel apples?

Should you eat caramel apples?

As September rolls around and fall fruits start flooding your local grocery stores, you’re probably excited by a special treat that seems particularly representative of autumn: caramel apples. The sticky, crunchy snack, whether homemade or store-bought, is a go-to treat in many American households.
But, as dentists from Bronitsky Family Dentistry warn, caramel apples, delicious as they may be, aren’t a miracle food. Like many other sweet treats, caramel apples pose some oral health-related issues that are good to keep in mind as you enjoy the autumn.

caramel apples teeth

Apples and Teeth

Surprisingly, the story isn’t entirely a negative one. Sugary additions aside, the base ingredient–the apple–is actually one of those seemingly rare foods that are actually good for the teeth.
Apples are teeth-friendly for two reasons: first, they contain a unique blend of chemicals that help brighten your teeth naturally. The slightly acidic nature of the fruit helps erode bacteria and promotes healthy development of the enamel. This is helped by the second feature of the fruit: eating apples naturally spurs saliva development, boosting the body’s natural defenses against bacteria and healing the teeth along the way.
Of course, too much of a bad thing is never good. The acidic nature of apples can damage the enamel when exposed in large quantities, meaning that you shouldn’t try to snack on apples all the time. However, on balance, apples in their natural state are more of a benefit than a harm for your teeth.

Caramel and Teeth

Apples might be good for your teeth, but it’s the other half of the caramel apple that poses a problem. Caramel, in all its sticky-sweet glory, is one of the most problematic foods for the teeth.
This is again for two reasons: first, the high sugar quantity in caramel is a great attraction to decay-causing bacteria. Because the harmful bacteria feed on sugar, large intakes of artificially sweet foods like caramel can be quite damaging for your teeth. Over time, the bacteria can wear away the enamel on your teeth and cause tooth decay and cavity-formation, making the presence of sugar a very dangerous one indeed.
This isn’t helped by the fact that caramel is also very sticky–not only does the sugar draw bacteria toward the teeth, the stickiness of that sugar means that the bacteria will adhere to the teeth and remain long after the snack is consumed. Even if you can’t taste the caramel, traces of it will linger in the mouth until you brush your teeth fully, and that could mean that hours pass before the sticky substance is eradicated from your mouth.
As a whole, caramel is one of the foods that harm the teeth the most. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a caramel apple once in a while, but it does mean that you should punctuate those experiences with a good toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.
Visiting a dentist regularly will help as well. Dr. Bronitsky can regularly check up on the state of your teeth and recommend dietary adjustments as needed. Set up a time to talk with Bronitsky Family Dentistry today! Simply call (503) 649-5665 or visit the website to schedule an appointment.

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Bronitsky Family Dentistry
17952 SW Blanton St
Aloha, OR 97078

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