Dentist explains Halloween and dental work

(NBC) - With Halloween approaching, a dentist explains which candies are the worst for dental work.

"Halloween candy is a dentist's worst nightmare," said Dr. Suzanne Bird, pediatric dentist.

Bird says the absolute worst candy for teeth is anything sticky like taffy or hard candy.

"The things that really kind of glue your teeth together when you bite down on them. Those can just break crowns off, they can break fillings," she said.

They're also more likely to get stuck in the grooves of teeth, giving the candy plenty of time to start working on a cavity.

Sour candy is so acidic that some kinds can actually burn gums.

It also weakens and wears away tooth enamel.

Chocolate is a good option because it generally does not stick to teeth, and though they're full of sugar, Pixie Sticks dissolve quickly, leaving less sugar for bacteria to thrive on.

Dr. Bird hands out candy, and she says it's better for kids' teeth if they eat all the candy they want Halloween night, and then get rid of it.

The repeated exposures to candy that may lead to cavities.

"If you're going to keep on munching at it, you know, a couple pieces every single day for the month or two months, as long as your candy lasts you, that could cause a lot of damage," she said.

After kids have had their fill of candy, and you just want it out of the house, consider a Halloween candy buyback program.

That's where kids trade in their candy for things like cash and toothbrushes, and then dentists donate the candy to troops serving overseas through Operation Gratitude.

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