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WFMY News: What dentists say about Halloween candy

Pediatric dentist Dr. Naomi Lane (Greensboro) and Dr. Mikie Farmer (Charlotte) discuss the best and worst Halloween candy and how to maintain healthy oral health routines this holiday season.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Halloween is right around the corner. The day full of costumes and sweet candy. Everyone from kids and adults are going to be chowing down on their collected goods. But, with sugar comes cavities.

No worries! WFMY News 2's Tanya Rivera invited Dr. Naomi Lane, DDS and Dr. Michael Farmer, DMD, to teach us some tricks for those treats. 

Take a look at what our guest speakers advice:

1. Don’t skip brushing and flossing routines. 

When you eat or drink foods containing sugar, the bacteria in plaque produce acids that attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth and over time the enamel can break down, causing cavities to form.

2. Drink water and even eat a piece of candy with a healthy meal. 

Have a small amount of candy with meals (or right afterward), you’ll benefit from the extra saliva your mouth automatically makes while you’re eating a full meal. This, along with drinking water will help rinse away leftover bits of candy and the cavity-causing acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.

3. Skip sticky or sour candies. 

Avoid sticky gummies that stay in your mouth for a long time. These candies cling to your teeth, elevating cavity risks. Unless they’re sugar-free, it’s a good idea to skip these altogether. Sour candy typically contains acids that produce the sour flavor. These acids can attack the tooth’s enamel and can damage teeth.

4. A little chocolate in moderation is okay. 

A small amount of chocolate is the safest candy option. Chocolate is the most popular kind of Halloween candy, and it doesn’t stick to your teeth as much as other candies. Dark chocolate is even better, there’s less cavity-causing sugar in semisweet and dark chocolate than in milk chocolate.

5. Sugar-free chewing gum ONLY..  

Sugarless chewing gum is a good option for trick-or-treaters. Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva and neutralizes cavity-causing bacteria, which aids in preventing tooth decay. No bubble gum or gum with sugar. Check the label on the gum to ensure it’s sugar free and includes the ADA Seal of Acceptance. The ADA Seal is your assurance that the sugar-free chewing gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness.

Source: WFMY News Interview