Halloween candy: not as bad as you think?

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Halloween is upon us and your kids will soon be in possession of a large amount of candy.  Everybody knows that eating all that candy is the worst possible thing for teeth, or is it?

"Let them eat all they want," says John Ruby, D.M.D., pediatric dentist and associate professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry. "Eating candy and sweets is more of a problem when you do it every day of the year."

Ruby says that eating candy on special occasions is not going to ruin you or your child's teeth. He says dental decay comes from a constant exposure to sugary treats. Those who eat candy and sugar daily are the ones who end up suffering from cavities and tooth decay.

Some candies can be worse on your teeth than others. "Sour candies are a double hit," Ruby says. "Not only do you get tooth decay with the sugar but the acid is in high concentrations to make it sour; because of that your teeth also can erode due to the acid."

Healthy treats like celery and peanut butter or any fruits and vegetables are recommended for regular treats on normal days. For special occasions, Ruby says there is nothing wrong with candy.

"If everyone just ate candy three or four days each year on special occasions, we wouldn't have a problem with cavities," he says.

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