I still have my dentist's teeth cleaning reminder postcard stuck on my fridge. It's been there for a couple of months now. I, like a lot of other people, am not quite ready to venture in and have my teeth spruced up.

But there is good news from your dentist. Even if you choose not to hand out any candy this year, make sure the treats you're keeping for yourself, are really- -the good stuff. And by good stuff, I mean, chocolate!

Of course, this year is very different, but yes, in better years, 76% of dentists have admitted to handing out candy for Halloween, according to an American Dental Association (ADA) survey.

But not all treats are created equal, some of them linger in your kid's mouths (and yours) for hours after they are eaten and every year dentists see the results. These are the candies dentists think you should avoid:

  • Hard candy - It's pure sugar, stays in the mouth a long time, and can break teeth if you try to crunch it.
  • Gummy candy - Like the name says, its gummy nature makes it stick to your teeth, so the ADA says "Be picky if it's sticky!"
  • Caramel - Again, super sticky and slow to dissolve
  • Sour candy - Highly acidic which mouth bacteria thrive on and speed up the decay process

I know, up to this point you're thinking, "Well, that is a very "party-pooper-ish" dental attitude!" (Or maybe that's just me. I love gummy and caramel - -anything!) But the good news is, the candy which dentists say is your best bet, is chocolate!

It washes off your teeth more easily and contains oils that delay the formation of the bacteria which initiate the decay process. Milk chocolate is alright, but dark chocolate is the best, as it has less sugar.

The message really is, no matter what candy you and your wee ones indulge in this Halloween, it is important to remember to brush it off your teeth before the scary specter of "Evil Dr. Decay" shows up!

Sources: American Dental Association Halloween Survey and the American Dental Association (ADA)

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