Is any ‘Fair Food’ Good (or even Fair!) for your Teeth

Fall is here (thank goodness!) and that means that it’s state fair season here in Arizona. That means daring carnival rides, great concerts at the coliseum and acres and acres of fair food. While indulging in the fair fare is part of the enjoyment of going, it’s important to keep taking care of your teeth and the rest of your body while you do. Here are some of the most common carnival treats and how to curtail the damage they can cause.

Candy Apples
While biting into this delicacy can spark feelings of nostalgia for adults and feelings of a sugar rush for kids, these are not at all tooth-friendly. Because the caramel is so sticky, it stays on the teeth for quite a long time after the first bite, creating a haven for tooth-damaging bacteria. The best way to handle these is to cut the apple into wedges if possible. That way, you get the apple part on your teeth first. It’s also important to rinse well with water afterwards.

Cotton Candy
This famous treat is pretty much sugar turned into a pink fluff that melts in your mouth. Again, it’s a classic fall treat that’s an integral part of childhood. Indulging at the fair is not too much of a problem as long as you rinse very well (with water, not soda) and brush thoroughly when you get home. It becomes a problem if you take several bags home with you and continually partake over the next couple weeks.

Kettle Corn
This sweet, salty and popcorny treat is pretty easy to love, but it doesn’t necessarily love your teeth back, especially if you or the kids have braces or gum disease. Even if you have a healthy, metal-free mouth, be careful not to crunch down on unpopped kernels, and you’ll definitely want to floss once you get home.

Tooth-friendly fair tips:
While total abstinence from these treats may not be possible, there are some things you can do to keep your teeth and gums in great shape, including:

  • Carrying some dental floss in your bag.
  • Carrying (and drinking) plenty of water during your visit
  • Brushing and flossing thoroughly when you get home.

It’s the most beautiful time of year here in the Valley. When you head out to the fair, enjoy the crowds and the food, but keep your oral health in mind. If you or your child’s due for a checkup, make an appointment today!