Have you been congratulating yourself on surviving Halloween and all its sugary treats? If you took great care of your teeth, you should be proud, but don't let your guard down yet. The approach of the winter holidays means the proliferation of silver dragées, those metallic silver balls that grace cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. While the decorations are illegal in California, they are legal in other states, and they've become very popular because of the shiny lustre they add to frosting. However, they are also not the best for you for two (and a half) good reasons.
Dragées are hard. Very hard. They may be made of sugar, but the sugar is highly compressed and coated in a thin layer of metal. If you bite down on one, you risk chipping or cracking a tooth. Many people may have survived eating these small silver balls before, but it's like chewing ice or hard candy -- just because it worked for others doesn't mean it will work for you. Don't take a chance; remove the dragées from your food before eating.
They're Still Sugar
For all the commotion over the silver coating and the hardness of the dragées, they're still sugar. If you eat them, you will be coating your teeth in sugar. Treat any dragées you do decide to eat like you would any other sugary candy. Don't eat too many, and be vigilant about brushing your teeth and flossing daily.
Theoretical Silver Overload
This is the half reason mentioned before. Dragées are coated, as mentioned, in silver, which is not really an edible substance, despite its use in food decoration. Technically, too much of the silver could make you sick. On a typical cookie or cupcake, you're really not going to ingest that much, but it is of concern if you plan to eat a lot of foods decorated with the items. In fact, this is why the dragées are illegal in California; a lawyer convinced a court that since silver was considered toxic (in terms of ingestion), the dragées should not be sold legally. While this doesn't directly impact your teeth, it can impact your health if you're planning to eat a lot of the dragées.
If you'd like to learn more about keeping your teeth safe during the holidays, talk to your family dentist like Dr. Robert Petrtyl. He or she will help you think of alternatie decorations that aren't as difficult for your teeth to handle.Share