Trick or Treat? A Dentist's Take on Halloween Candy

Photo by Stuart Miles at
Photo by Stuart Miles at
TAMPA (2011-10-24) -

Can you guess how much candy the average American ate last year? More than 24 pounds, according to the U.S. Census Bureau! That's got to be a pretty frightening statistic for dentists. With Halloween just a week away, Maitland pediatric dentist Carlos Bertot weighed in on which candy is the scariest for trick-or-treaters' teeth.

TERRIFYING TREATS: "The sticky, gummy foods basically spend a long time inside the mouth, and it takes the mouth and our saliva additional time, if you will, to dissolve it or melt it away and allowing the bacteria in our mouth to basically feed off the sugar that's in those foods and increase the acid level in our mouth," Bertot said. "And that's essentially what a cavity is; it's an acid breakdown of the tooth."

But that doesn't mean you have to give out apples when trick-or-treaters come to your door...

"Chocolate is the one candy that I can tell you that we can indulge in that it usually melts away really quick and is generally not going to damage anything in the mouth," Bertot said.

Find more Halloween candy dos and don'ts at

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