Fairy floss: A tooth’s sweeter friend?
RALEIGH, N.C., (July 16, 2012) — Now that school is out and summer is in full swing, images of fairgrounds, ballparks and carnivals might dance around in the minds of many kids looking for fun during the season. Often times, with these fun activities comes an abundance of tasty, sugary treats. Yet, did you know that one of the most popular summer treats commonly found at these events was created by a dentist?
Cotton candy, originally called “Fairy Floss,” was co- invented by William James Morrison, a dentist, who introduced the deliciously decadent snack at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Fairy Floss was an instant hit with fairgoers buying nearly 70,000 boxes of the sugary treat.
One of the unique qualities of cotton candy that makes it a sweeter friend to teeth is its stringy, airy texture. This allows it to dissolve and wash away quicker than chewy candies, something that even Morrison may have recognized more than 100 years ago.
“Cotton candy is a much better choice because it dissolves quickly and is easier to brush away,”says Dr. Jed Jacobson, chief science officer of Delta Dental of North Carolina. “Gummy and chewy candies stick to teeth and have the potential to uproot fillings and loosen braces, as well as lead to an acid attack that continues to damage teeth for up to 20 minutes after eating.”
Here are some additional Delta Dental tips for healthy teeth all summer:
- Encourage kids to drink water with their treats to help rinse sugar away from their teeth.
- Ensure children eat a well-balanced, hearty meal before heading out to any summer events, so there will be less temptation to indulge on sugary treats.
- Promote good oral health care habits at home, year-round by encouraging twice daily brushing with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing and getting regular dental checkups.
- Enjoy all treats in moderation.
About Delta Dental of North Carolina
Delta Dental of North Carolina, with its affiliates in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio and Tennessee collectively are among the largest dental plan administrators in the nation. In 2011, the enterprise paid out $2.2 billion for dental treatment for 8.6 million enrollees. Offices are located in Raleigh and Charlotte, N.C.; Indianapolis and Greenwood, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; Okemos and Farmington Hills, Mich.; Albuquerque, N.M.; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio; and Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis, Tenn.