With Valentine’s Day cards and festive candies filling the aisles of stores, this day of love is a sweet opportunity to spend time with your significant others or loved ones. While this festive holiday hits a sweet note for most people, it can be pretty sour for your oral health. Candy, along with anything with an excess amount of sugar, can wear down at your teeth. Eating foods with a high sugar content in addition to poor oral hygiene practices can lead to serious trouble for your smile. Given enough time, patients can experience tooth decay and gum disease, which will eventually lead to tooth loss if the issue isn’t treated in a timely manner. In those instances, dental implants are the ideal solution to restore a patient’s teeth for a beautiful, complete smile. Although this restoration is the preferred method for restoring missing teeth, we believe preventative measures are the best way to keep your smile in the best condition. This includes brushing, flossing, visiting the dentist regularly, and being aware of potentially dangerous items for your oral health. To further explain this topic, dental implant provider, Dr. K Ashraf explores the most damaging candies this Valentine’s Day for his patients here in Waterloo, BC.
Before we go into which candies to avoid this Valentine’s Day, we figured our readers would want to hear a bit more about this romantic holiday. Where did it originate? How have the traditions of Valentine’s day evolve to make it the holiday it is now? This holiday originates from the celebration of Saint Valentine, which has both Christian and ancient Roman roots. The Catholic Church has recognized three saints named Valentine who were martyred. The truth about Saint Valentine is pretty much unknown. However, some stories say that the saint was killed for attempting to help Christians escape Roman prisons where they were tortured. When imprisoned for the crime, Valentine sent a card to a young girl he fell in love with and signed the letter “From your Valentine,” which is still an expression we use today for the holiday.
Although some believe we celebrate Valentine’s Day in the middle of February to commemorate the death of Valentine, others suggest it was an attempt to Christianize a pagan holiday celebrating Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a fertility festival where Romans would perform sacrificial rituals in the belief that it would make women more fertile within the next year. This celebration was eventually outlawed because it was deemed un-Christian. Pope Gelasius named February 14th St. Valentine’s Day and it slowly became associated with love and romance. The middle of February was also known to be the start of birds’ mating season which added to the notion that Valentine’s Day is related to romance. Valentine’s Day continued and the popularity of Valentine’s Day notes soared and it became known as a day to give a small token to your loved one.
Small tokens that are given on Valentine’s Day include candy, cards, and flowers. Although these are sweet gestures, candy can mean serious damage to your teeth. Here’s a quick look at which candies to avoid this Valentine’s Day:
Instead of indulging in candy this Valentine’s Day, try enjoying heart-cut fruits, cheese platters, or any other treat with less sugar. If you plan on treating yourself to something sweet, make sure to drink a lot of water and not to eat candy over a long period of time. Eating over the course of an hour just leaves your teeth vulnerable to damage longer. Drinking more water after eating candy can help the production of saliva, which is key to keeping your teeth safe against acidic substances.
Valentine’s Day is a festive holiday with a rich history of love and romance. As wonderful as this holiday is, it’s important to keep an eye on your oral health in the midst of all the Valentine’s Day candy. Taking care of your smile is a key way to have optimal oral health and self-confidence when you flash your pearly whites. If you’re currently suffering from tooth loss, we encourage you to consider dental implants to restore your smile. This restoration can give you a natural-looking smile that blends in perfectly with your natural teeth. To get started on your dental implant process, contact our office today and schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Ashraf.