• 10 Candies for Your Kids to Avoid This Halloween

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    Some candies are worse than others when it comes to your children’s dental health. In general, you should encourage eating candies that dissolve quickly and don’t have too much contact with the enamel on your children’s teeth. You’ll want to avoid candies that require a lot of chewing, or are acidic or especially hard.

    The longer a candy stays in the mouth, the more it promotes tooth decay because sugar makes bacteria grow, and the bacteria breaks down into acid that wears away teeth. So make sure your kids aren’t getting too many of these:

    1.Hard candies- Hard candies are not recommended because they roll around in your mouth for several minutes and make quite a bit of contact with enamel surfaces on your teeth.

    2. Taffy- Sticky, chewy candies are problematic because, in addition to the contact time the candy has with teeth, the sugar can also get into crevices in your teeth and gums that make it harder to remove.

    3. Sour Candies- The ingredient that creates the sour flavor in candies is acid – usually citric acid – and acid actually erodes the enamel in teeth. The pH level, a measure of how much acid is actually in food, is 7.0 in water and about 5.5. in sour candies. Loss of tooth enamel occurs at 4.0.

    4. Caramels- Caramels, like taffy, can cause problems because the stickiness causes the sugar to linger in small mouths for a longer time.

    4. Gummy Candies-  Gummy candies such as gummy bears or Dots can stick to your teeth and gums, encouraging tooth decay and making it much harder to keep your teeth clean and free of plaque.

    5. Gum That Does Not Carry the ADA Seal-  Gum with the American Dental Association seal is sugarless; sugarless gum increases saliva production helps wash out food particles and neutralizes the acid produced by bacteria. Meanwhile, gum that isn’t sugarless simply deposits sugar on the teeth over a period of time and adds to the potential decay problems.

    6. Lollipops-  It takes a few minutes to finish a lollipop, and these suckers often have constant contact with teeth as they are consumed. During that time all the sugar is dissolving on tooth enamel.

    7. Jawbreakers- These super-hard candies contain citric acid, so kids’ teeth are exposed to dangerous pH levels. In addition, most kids keep jawbreakers in their mouth for a long time – 15 minutes is average. And, if they attempt to bite through, kids can chip or crack their teeth.

    9. Jelly Beans- Jelly beans are another type of candy that can promote tooth decay. The gelatin that’s in jelly beans is often of a sticky texture not conducive to keeping your teeth sugar- and plaque-free.

    10. Chocolate Filled with Caramel or Nuts- Chocolate itself isn’t so bad, as it dissolves quickly and provides calcium, which protects teeth. But put it with caramel or nuts, and you have something that’s harder to chew and more dangerous for your teeth.

     

     

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