This Morning: Treats and tooth decay, dental experts weigh in on Halloween candy

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We all know Halloween means a lot of candy, but the sweet treats can also lead to problems for kids teeth.

Dentists and candy typically don’t go together.

But Corinne McNamara says a night filled with sugary treats can create potential for scary tooth decay and cavities.

“Bacteria give off acids, those acids are what dissolve your teeth demineralize your teeth which eventually can cause decay,” says McNamara.

McNamara says bacteria will eat the sugar leftover in your mouth producing acid that can destroy the tooth. 

But although most parents aren’t going to ban candy to protect teeth on Halloween, McNamara says there are some steps you can take to maintain a healthy smile without spoiling the fun.

Her first piece of advice, try sugar-free gum.

“After you eat a piece of candy, or eat your meal, sugar free gum is always a good way to neutralize the acids and remove food debris from your teeth” says McNamara.

She says the gum produces saliva counter acting those scary acids.

In addition, she says the best time to eat candy is after a meal. Your saliva glands have already started working.

McNamara says avoid hard, sour, or sticky candies.

“Real hard candy you can easily break a tooth, break a filling,” says McNamara.

By now you may be thinking that rules out most of our favorites, however dentists say chocolate is your best bet.

It melts in your mouth, washing off your teeth easier than other candies.

And of course, dentists say dark chocolate is better.. it has less sugar.

So while sorting through the loot McNamara says keep in mind, by making smart choices, you can avoid a candy causing nightmare this Halloween.

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