Halloween: Best and worst candy for teeth

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by Dr. Jason McCargar, Scottsdale Dental Arts / Special to azfamily.com

GMAZ interview by Kaley O'Kelley, Javier Soto and Scott Pasmore

Posted on October 30, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 30 at 11:22 AM

PHOENIX -- Millions of ghosts and goblins are hitting the streets tomorrow to collect as much candy as they possibly can.

With the average trick-or-treat bucket holding about 250-300 pieces of candy any given child, given the opportunity, is expected to consume an average of 9,000 calories from the candy.

All of that candy can do a number on your child's teeth.

Candies ranked from least damaging to worst

1. Sugar-free gum - the least damaging

2. Powdered candy that dissolves quickly, poured directly on tongue (surprisingly not as bad for teeth as most other candy)

3. Dark chocolate and chocolate (York Peppermint Patties)

4. Chewy candy or sour chewy candy (most of 3TV's favorites -  Sugar Babies, Skittles, Sour Patch Kids and Lemonade Mike-n-Ikes)

5. Lollipops

Tips to Parents:

Location, location, location. Place candy up high, out of sight, so children aren't constantly reminded of forbidden treats.

Halloween dessert. Let children choose a few pieces after a meal when they are already full from healthy food and saliva production (which protects the teeth) has already been initiated from the meal.

Brush a little longer. Make it a game. Every time they eat a piece of candy they can run into the bathroom to brush their teeth, or supervise a longer brushing session each morning and night to combat candy damage.

Dr. Tough Guy (or Gal). If parents are struggling to take control of the candy situation at home, schedule a cleaning and let your dental professional be the tough guy/gal. At Scottsdale Dental Arts, we explain the pros and cons and give children options so they still feel they have some control of their hard-earned Halloween candy.


Dr. Jason McCargar, DMD, is from Scottsdale Dental Arts. For more information, visit www.ScottsdaleDentalArts.com. Here is his best and worst candies list and some tips for parents at Halloween.

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