Don’t be Tempted with Heart-shaped Treats that Ruin Your Breath

1372875_16082968Ever wonder why winter holidays are famous for their delicious treats? We sure did! From Christmas to Valentine’s Day, seasonal aisles are packed to the brim with tasty chocolates, candies and cookies. Not only are some of these goodies terrible for your waistline, but they can quickly ruin the romantic mood by causing bad breath and other oral health issues. Gooey and sugary candies can wreak havoc on your mouth, but luckily there are several healthier alternatives to satiate your sweet tooth this time of the year. Here are a few to avoid: 

Chocolate-covered peeps
Formally an Easter-themed treat, peeps are taking over Valentines with a bit of food coloring and a change of heart – you won’t find these candies shaped like bunnies this season. Although fairly low in calories, these candies will stay in your mouth long after you’ve devoured them. Gooey candies, like peeps, can easily get stuck in your teeth and in the crevices of your mouth. Since they are made of almost primarily sugar, it will attract bacteria to stick around in your mouth. This can cause bad breath in a jiffy, possibly prompting your Valentine’s date to scurry out the door.

Reese’s heart
Ooey, gooey centers are by far the worst candies for you, but sticky peanut butter filling is equally as harmful. The highly-processed filling contains oils and preservatives, which are fairly dangerous to your overall health, but Reese’s in general are also bad for your teeth. Just like the peeps, these candies get stuck in your teeth and in the crevices of your mouth quickly.

Turtles
Simply biting into the caramel goodness of a turtle just causes the “yum” reflex to kick in, but these treats are among the worst for your teeth. Caramel is even sticker than peanut butter, so it can stick around for quite some time. Luckily, the little bit of crunch in these candies can scrape away some of the caramel, but these are still on the “bad” list. If you must indulge, make sure to drink some water afterward and limit yourself to one treat.

Candy hearts
Although getting messages like “I love you” and “soul mate” can be fun, these colorful candy treats contain 14 grams of sugar. Skip out on these, and send your sweetie a cute handwritten note instead. After all, you can write more than “don’t tell.”

So, what can you eat? Try out some of these far healthier treats for a sweet date (and sweeter breath) to share with your sweetie: 

Dark chocolate hearts
Dark chocolate contains antibacterial properties that can help neutralize the bacteria in your mouth. It contains tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids, which are all antioxidants that prevent bacteria from turning into damaging acids. It can also inhibit the production of dental plaque, and can help reduce the risk of gum disease because it reduces inflammation.

Chocolate-covered strawberries
These treats are among the top romantic deserts, and they are great for your mouth! Although there isn’t extensive research to prove it, strawberries are thought to have teeth whitening powers. Some experts have suggested using strawberries as an at-home whitener because these fruits can scrub away stains from coffee, soda and wine. Strawberries also contain vitamin C, which is known to combat bad breath. These wonderful fruits will help get rid of dental plaque, and can satisfy your sweet tooth. With a little bit of semi-sweet or dark chocolate coating, you’ve got yourself a healthy and tooth-friendly desert – just make sure not to pack on several layers of chocolate.

Chocolate-covered almonds
These may not scream Valentine’s Day, but they are sure good for your body and teeth! Almonds are great for your teeth, and if you coat these nuts with dark chocolate, you’ll have a double whammy healthy treat.

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