HOUSTON – Nobody is going to deny kids trick-or-treating just to save their teeth, and dentists understand. So, the Texas Tooth Lady, Terri Alani, gives pointers on what candy to eat and when to eat it that could save your dental health.
Candies you should eat
“The first one is chocolate. Chocolate is probably the best candy to give out for two reasons: melts in your mouth, and so it doesn't stay on your teeth as long so it doesn't give the bacteria a chance to work to produce the acid that actually destroys the tooth,” Alani said.
Good news for chocolate lovers but as always, dark chocolate is better since it has less sugar.
Alani’s other favorite candy is sugar-free gum.
“If you can chew sugar-free gum about 20 minutes after you eat, it's going to help stimulate the saliva,” she said saliva helps neutralize acid in the mouth and reduce the negative effects of bacteria.
Best time of day to eat candy
Eat candy around meal time so there's plenty of saliva to neutralize the acid.
“When you eat, you’re producing saliva so you have more saliva in your mouth and it's all about the saliva neutralizing the acids that causes the damage to your teeth,” Alani said.
Then, wait to brush your teeth.
“Make sure they wait 30 minutes before they brush their teeth because you want the saliva to neutralize the acid which can destroy the tooth so wait 30 minutes before they brush their teeth,” Alani said.
Candies you should avoid
Avoid sour and sticky candies, Alani said.
She said sour signals acidic, which damages enamel and sticky candies stick around much longer than what she considers healthy.
“They're hard to get off, they get in the crevices, they can actually pull the ceilings out of your children's teeth or any crowns they may have so you want to stay away from sticky candy. It gives the bacteria a lot more time to work,” Alani said.