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Dentist: Halloween candies can be more trick than treat

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Your kids will be out hitting the streets, knocking on doors, trick-or-treating. And they're going to come home with a big pile of candy. Did you know some candy is better for their teeth than other candy?

Like most eight-year-olds, Molly Higgins likes candy, but not all of it settles well in her mouth.

"It's getting stuck to my teeth," she said.

But this time, the candy stuck so hard that Dr. Terri Alani had to help dig off the rogue Milk Dud.

"The Milk Dud is bathing your teeth in sugar. So you want to stay away from anything that is real sticky that stays on your teeth for an extended period of time," Dr. Alani said.

And that's how sticky candy can pull a bracket off braces.

"Her older sisters have braces, and one of them did pop a bracket because she was eating the wrong thing. Lesson learned," said Molly's mom, Cheryl Higgins.

Hard candy can be worse.

"These hard candies will absolutely break your teeth," Dr. Alani said.

So at Halloween, is there a candy that's OK for your teeth? Yes, it's chocolate!

"Chocolate is not bad for your teeth. Some people think it is, but it actually isn't because it washes away," Dr. Alani said.

And believe it or not, there's a best time to eat Halloween candy and that's with a snack or meal.

So what's the worst candy for your teeth?

Dr. Alani says acidic candy because it attacks the enamel of the tooth. But don't go brush immediately afterward.

"What happens is you will absolutely spread the acid to the other teeth during your brushing," Dr. Alani said.

If you wait 30 minutes, your saliva helps neutralize the acid. Then you can brush.

If you just can't get to a toothbrush, after your children have hit the candy, give them a stick of sugarless gum with xylitol. Xylitol helps prevent cavities.

Molly will be a Stratford Spartanaire just like her sisters while hoping to land her favorite candy:

"Reese's, I love Reese's," she said.

(Copyright ©2014 KTRK-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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