I'd like to say this post is just for the kids, but I must confess--I, Tracy Turner, steal Halloween candy from children. Yes, I am guilty of occasionally sneaking a fun size Snickers or a tiny box of Nerds from my nieces and nephews. Here's some interesting information for you, my fellow candy thieves:

Candy Corn
Flickr Commons, juushika Redgrave


Good news! This information is important for the dental health of children and adults. Did you know that in some cases, after enjoying sugary treats, it's best to wait a little while to brush your teeth? Here are more interesting facts from realsimple.com:

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) spokesperson Cynthia Sherwood DDS FAGD says that chewy and sticky candies such as gummies and taffy are a serious source of tooth decay, particularly because they get stuck in the crevices between teeth, making it nearly impossible to remove. Even dried fruit such as raisins can cause a problem notes Dr. Sherwood.

Sour candies such as Warheads, Lemonheads, or Sour Patch Kids are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. But the good news is that saliva helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. Contrary to what you might think a dentist might say about brushing teeth after eating candy, in the case of sour candies, Dr. Sherwood recommends that patients wait about 30 minutes to brush and allow the saliva to do it’s magic. Otherwise, kids will be brushing the acid onto more tooth surfaces, increasing the risk of enamel erosion.

Purely sugar snacks such as candy corn are also a problem for kids. Instead, you might try a small version of a candy that includes a protein, such as peanut butter cups or chocolate with nuts.

Dr. Sherwood recommends that parents stock their treat bowls with sugar-free lollipops and hard candies which stimulate saliva, helping to prevent dry mouth. . "A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities," Dr. Sherwood says. Also good is sugar-free gum which can help dislodge particles from between the teeth.

 Test your candy pickin' prowess--would you make the best choice?

• Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or Snickers? Snickers is the better choice because it contains less fat, less saturated fat, and 10 fewer calories in a fun-size candy comparison.
• Peanut M&M’s or Skittles? Skittles only have 61 calories compared to 90 in the peanut M&M’s, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better choice. The peanuts help lower the glycemic index, so sugar is released more slowly into the bloodstream.
• Twix or Kit Kat? The Kit Kat will save you 20 calories and has less sodium and saturated fat.
• Candy Corn or Tootsie Rolls? This one is a trick question; it’s actually a tie. But if you are going for quantity, 26 pieces of candy corn have the same number of calories as 6 Tootsie Rolls (140).

For the rest of the list of candy options, visit www.RealSimple.com.

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