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Trick or Treat? Learn How to Trick Cavities This Halloween

With unlimited candy options, kids are often tempted to indulge on Halloween. But, did you know some candies affect teeth worse than others?
Trick or treating is synonymous with celebrating Halloween, and sweet treats are the highlight of the holiday. With unlimited candy options, kids are often tempted to indulge. But, did you know some candies affect teeth worse than others? The North Carolina Dental Society provides a Halloween survival guide to help keep you and your family cavity-free this Halloween season.  
 
“It’s important for children to enjoy Halloween, including a little candy, but moderation is key,” said Dr. Alec Parker, executive director of the NC Dental Society. “Excessive sugar consumption can produce acids that lead to cavities and tooth decay. Be sure your children are brushing and flossing thoroughly after consuming candy. Parents can also explore alternative ways to celebrate Halloween, like family game night or kid-friendly pumpkin carving. “ 
 
If your children have a sweet tooth, here’s a guide of the best and worst Halloween candies for their teeth: 
 
1. Chocolate – Assorted chocolates are one of the most popular Halloween candies. Did you know it’s probably one of the safest, too? Chocolate dissolves quickly, and washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Dark chocolate is your best bet, as it contains less sugar than milk chocolate. 

2. Gummies – Sticky candies can be a nightmare. These candies tend to cling to teeth, giving ample time for cavities to form. It’s important to have your children brush and floss thoroughly, as gummies often get stuck on the tooth’s surface and between crevices. 

3. Hard candy/Lollipops – Hard candy is hard on teeth and can result in chipped or cracked teeth. It’s best to steer clear of any rock candy during Halloween. 

4. Sour candy – Sour candy typically contains citric acids that produce the sour flavor. These specific acids can be quite harmful to teeth, attacking the tooth’s enamel, so enjoy these in moderation.   

5. Sugar-free chewing gum – Sugarless chewing gum is a good option for a Halloween treat. The act of chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva and neutralizes cavity-causing bacteria, which aids in preventing tooth decay. 
 
Regardless of which candies you give out to costumed kids or allow your children to consume, be sure to keep water handy. Drinking water after sweets is essential for rinsing away leftover candy residue. For more tips on a healthy Halloween, visit www.mouthhealthy.org
 
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About the North Carolina Dental Society
The North Carolina Dental Society was founded in 1856 and is one of the oldest dental societies in the country. The NCDS represents nearly 3,900 member dentists in North Carolina. Headquartered in Cary, our mission is to help all members succeed. For more information about the NCDS, visit ncdental.org. The North Carolina Dental Society is a part of the American Dental Association, the nation's largest dental association, representing 161,000 dentist members.
 
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