Open Wide - The Official Blog of The Chicago Dental Society

Permanent link  Unhealthy Snacking Caries a Big Burden


It’s hard to resist the sweet taste of many popular and convenient snacks, but as every dentist knows, these tasty treats are no friend to your teeth. Sticky candies, cookies, dry fruit, and other common sugary snacks, especially among children, can cause dental caries, commonly known as cavities. Even starchy snacks, like chips and crackers, can cause cavities as they break down into sugars when left in the mouth for long periods of time.

As part of our annual member dentist survey, we asked dentists to offer smart snacking ideas for kids. While our focus was on healthy snacking for young ones, these tips are useful for all ages. Here are a couple pointers:


  • It's cheesy, but true. It’s a standard practice for parents to encourage kids to finish their milk. Why? It’s a great resource of calcium and builds strong bones, including teeth. The same holds true for cheese. In fact, some cheeses can slow the activity of bacteria that cause tooth decay.
  • Peel away from sticky candy. Gummies and sticky candies, such as dry fruit or suckers, are dangerous to teeth. When chewing, they get stuck on surfaces and in between crevices, causing bacteria to feed on the candy and produce more cavity-causing acids. The dentists we surveyed recommend “sticking” to healthier snacks, like fruits, veggies, nuts, yogurt, and cheese


See all the healthy snacking tips HERE.


If you’re attending this year’s Midwinter Meeting and are interested in an in-depth education on treating dental caries, check out these FREE courses:


What’s the pH Got to do With It?

Course #: F127

When: Thursday, February 23, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Description:  A lecture discussing what products and techniques are available to test salivary pH, elevate acid pH levels, and rematerialize the enamel—procedures meant to help prevent dental caries.

CE Hours: 3

Cost: No Charge


Who Caries?

Course #: F201A and F201B

When: Friday, February 24, from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m and continued Friday afternoon from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Description: An in-depth look at the current thinking on dental caries and how best to treat the disease medically.

CE Hours: 6 (3 hours each session)

Cost: No Charge


Today, Friday, February 17 is the last day to pre-register for the Midwinter Meeting. Thereafter, attendees will be able to register on site for all available courses.