Monday, October 8, 2012

Scary Snacks At The Movies


Want a real horror story this Halloween?  

A trip to the concession stand at your local movie theatre may be scarier than what’s on the screen.  The sugary, sticky, buttery snacks that we crave at the movies play a big role in tooth damage, staining and decay, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).  


Here’s a look at the worst movie snacks, and some better alternatives, as recommended by the AACD:

Worst:

Popcorn:  In addition to the gut-busting butter, crunching down on un-popped kernels can fracture teeth.  And, popcorn husks are notorious for lodging between back teeth and gums.  Often, they have to be removed by a dentist, and impacted husks are notorious for causing infections.

Sour Candies:  These candies are extremely high in citric, fumaric and malic acids -- all of which can seriously damage tooth enamel.

Caramels:  Caramel is super sticky, enabling it to adhere to teeth for long periods -- and that let’s harmful bacteria grow.  Worse, many a filling and crown have been lost to a sticky Milk Dud.

Fruit/Nut-based Candies:  They may seem healthy, but those Raisinets and Goobers are deceiving.  They’re loaded with sugar.

Candy-Coated Chocolates:  While not as sticky as other sweets, the colored candy shell on the outside of a classic M&M can stain teeth.

Soda:  Really a poor snack for two reasons.  First, those giant movie sodas contain a huge amount of sugar.  Second, most are highly acidic.  On the pH scale, the lower the number, the higher the level of acid.  Water is neutral at a 7...battery acid is a 1...and soda is at -- and in some cases below -- a 3!  

Better:

Dark Chocolate:  Packed with healthy antioxidants, dark chocolate is a much better alternative to milk chocolate.

Pixie Stix:  Believe it or not, these treats are better because they’re poured directly on the tongue, greatly reducing harmful exposure to teeth.

Cheese Nachos: High in fat, yes, but they’re a more reasonable choice because the sugar content isn’t over the roof, they are not acidic, and are relatively easy to chew.

Water:  Stick to water or club soda instead of a sugary, acidic soft drink. Your teeth and gums -- and body overall -- will thank you.

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