Sour candy means more cavities -

Sour candy means more cavities

It's no secret that candy isn't exactly good for you, but dentists also say all candy is not created equal.

"The thing that we're really concerned about is the acid candies, the sour candies," says Dr. Rick Coker. Coker is used to seeing the impacts of all sorts of stuff on patient's teeth and says eat the sweet before the sour.

"Chocolate is not bad, so if you're going to eat candy or give it away, give chocolate," he adds.

The oil contained inside chocolate keeps candy from contributing to cavities. Sour candies that are hard, soft, chewy, liquid, or even powders all pose the same risk to teeth.

"If you have somebody whose prone to having decay, it's just going to go that much faster," explains Coker.

Dentists rate candy on a pH scale to determine it's acidity. The lower the number, the greater the damage potential. Teeth start breaking down at level 4; your average candy like Skittles or Warheads hit anywhere from 3 down to 1.6. Get down to 1 and we're not talking candy anymore, but battery acid.

Coker says keeping teeth clean through Halloween is important, but stresses to wait 30 minutes after eating candy before you brush. Acid weakens tooth enamel, letting a tooth brush take the good away with the bad.

So when you're shopping for candy, keep it sweet to enjoy the holiday and good dental health. Dentists add that if you absolutely need to eat your sour candies, do so at meal time and not in between meals. After eating, rinse your mouth with water immediately. This will help to neutralize the acid in your mouth.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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