Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Little ghouls and goblins will soon be wandering all around the valley in search of candy. But the real monster may be lurking in your child's mouth. Contact 13 looks at the 3 types of candies to stay away from.
"It's Halloween!" says 11-year-old Kevin.
Like most kids his age, he's looking forward to trick or treating, and he knows exactly what he wants!
"Usually like Reese's. It's like my number one candy," says Kevin.
But his mom worries about taking care of his teeth. She knows some sweets like hard candies, could be dangerous.
"It can break his tooth. It can hurt his mouth," says Kevin's mom, Dora.
She spoke with Kevin's dentist about it, and he actually recomends chocolate.
"If you're going to make a choice, chocolate is your better choice," says UNLV Assistant Professor Dr. Owen Sanders.
That's because some sweets lead more quickly to cavities. One of the worst offenders, sour candy. They've got a double punch. First there's sugar in the candy that bacteria feeds on. Then there's acid.
"The acid is actually breaking down the tooth structure," says Dr. Sanders.
So it actually speeds up the tooth decay process, helping bacteria break through the surface of your child's teeth. Then there's hard candy and lollipops.
"The longer it spends time in the mouth, what tends to happen is, that breaks down the teeth," says Dr. Sanders.
And that's because acid builds up while sucking on these candies. Working against saliva which actually helps prevent early tooth decay. Finally, there's chewy or sticky candy.
"Within a child's tooth, you're looking at really deep grooves. What happens is, the sticky candies get down in those grooves," says Dr. Sanders.
Without proper brushing, candy can sit on the teeth for 12 to 24 hours, before it completely dissolves. Plenty of time for bacteria to grow, leading to possible cavities.and that's why Dr. Sanders likes chocolate.
"It's easier for the body to break down, and it's easier for it to clear from the mouth," says Dr. Sanders.
Whatever you decide to let your kids eat on Halloween night, Dr. Sanders says just be sure they brush their teeth as soon as they're done. Then check their teeth yourself and make sure there's no candy stuck on them.
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