sticky, sugary & sweet

One trip to the grocery store and it’s clear what season it is.  It’s candy season.  So how to navigate your way through the sugary minefields?   How to skip the really bad stuff and substitute it for the not-so-bad stuff?

Read on for what to get, what to skip, and how to make it through this season of sticky with the least amount of damage possible.

What to skip:
– Gummy candies, caramels, taffy. Why? The candy sticks to the teeth and stays around long after your child has finished it.

– Hard candy like lollipops and suckers. Why? Again, it’s prolonged sugar on your teeth.

– Sour candies like lemon drops or sour patch anything. Why? The high amount of acid breaks down the tooth enamel quickly.

What to get:
– Chocolate. Why? Because of a natural anti-bacterial compound in the cocoa bean which lessens some of the harmful effects of sugar in the mouth, chocolate is (surprisingly) less harmful for teeth than other sugary foods.

The best bet:
– Gum or candy with Xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-based sugar that actually helps prevent cavities.

What else:
– Make candy a dessert rather than a between-meal snack. And brush after every sugary run in.