It's no secret that kids love candy, but it's also a well-known fact that candy isn't exactly great for your oral health. Of course, you probably don't want to completely prohibit your children from indulging in a bit of candy every now and then, but you should at least steer them away from hard candy, and here are just three reasons why.

1. Extended Sugar Contact

If you ask how to reduce the staining caused by tea, coffee and soft drinks, you will likely be told to minimise the amount of contact with the teeth by drinking it through a straw. 

Hard candy is made mostly of sugar and is designed to be held in the mouth for a long time. If you don't crunch down, it can take a good few minutes for everything to be gone, and, even then, you'll still be left with a lot of sugary saliva in your mouth. If your child has keeps sugar in contact with their teeth for such a long time, they are certainly in danger of developing cavities.

2. Crunching Against Enamel

You might be thinking that you could mitigate the oral health problems associated with hard candy simply by biting down on it. After all, the candy will be gone faster. Unfortunately, chewing on hard candy comes with problems of its own.

The enamel that covers children's teeth is very hard; in fact, it's the hardest material the body creates. However, it is weakened by contact with sugar, and the pressure that needs to be exerted to crack a hard piece of candy can cause a tooth to crack or break, especially since the teeth will often crack against each when a piece of candy gives way. Additionally, biting hard against candy tends to push semi-chewed segments into any grooves along the teeth, and they might get stuck there.

3. Potential Cuts

Finally, it's common for children to get cuts from the sharp edges that can be created from hard candy when it is broken apart in the mouth. Those shards can be quite sharp, and the inner cheeks, gums, tongue, and roof of the mouth will likely be a little easier to cut due to the excessive saliva and moisture in the mouth caused by chewing and sucking on hard candy.

For more tips on how to help your child keep his or her teeth healthy, talk to your family dentist.