SUNDAY, Oct. 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) - - COVID-19 may change the look of Halloween this year, but dressing up and indulging in some sweets is all part of the fun, even if your kids can't go door to door.
And experts say one night of eating candy won't have a big effect on your teeth if it's done in moderation.
"It is all about having self-control or parental control," said Dr. Gregory Olson, chair of pediatric dentistry at the University of Texas Health School of Dentistry.
"Having a piece of candy here and there won't do too much damage to a healthy mouth, but the type of candy you pick, how many you eat, how long it lasts, and how you care for your teeth afterward could make all the difference," Olson said in a school news release.
The worst candies for teeth are hard or chewy candies like gummy worms and taffy, Olson said. That's because they're in your mouth longer and can stick to your teeth, causing harm if not washed out.
"Sour candy adds another level of harm to gummies because they are both sticky and acidic. Although it's extra-tasty, eating a lot of this candy can cause tooth enamel to break down or weaken, leading to cavities," Olson said.
It might be best to pick up chocolate, the darker the better. Chocolate is the best candy for your teeth, Olson said. "It melts in your mouth pretty quickly, meaning it won't stick around as long to cause cavities."
To retain your smile, Olson suggests the following:
- Brush your teeth, at least two times a day.
- Floss at least once a day - - more often if food is stuck between the teeth.
- Watch children as they brush their teeth to ensure they are brushing thoroughly.
- Schedule visits to the dentist.
- Limit sweets.
For more on healthy teeth, head to the American Dental Association.
-- Steven Reinberg
SOURCE: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, news release, Oct. 6, 2020
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