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It’s that time of year again, AVOID cavities this Halloween 2014!

This Halloween, avoid cavities while still enjoying candy. Here are a few healthier alternatives for your smile! We’ve compiled a short list of best choices for Halloween candy.Don’t deprive yourself, choose better.  And when you choose better, do not binge or risk cavities anyway.

Happy Halloween

Snickers vs Milky Way vs 3 Musketeers

If you’re giving out chocolate bars this Halloween, choose 3 Musketeers over Snickers or Milky Way. Overall, 3 Musketeers is the healthiest of the three chocolate bars. 3 Musketeers has less sugar, only 8 grams of fat and 260 calories compared to Milky Way’s 10 grams fat, 270 calories and Snicker’s 14 grams fat and 280 calories. The fluffy whipped nougat filled chocolate bar is least likely stick to the teeth. Snickers has nougat coated in caramel and peanuts. While peanuts seem to make Snickers the healthier choice, it isn’t. Don’t be fooled. Milky Way is just as bad, malt nougat topped caramel coated in milk chocolate. Both Snickers and Milky Way are guilty of adding decay-deadly caramel. Caramel is sticky, liquefied sugar and sticky sugars leave the worst, lasting tooth decay.

Reese’s vs Justin’s PB Cups

No surprise, Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups are hands down, healthier than Reese’s. The taste of Justin’s is comparable, if not better than Reese’s. The only problem is that Justin’s is twice more expensive. But the extra cost is worth it because

  1.  the price makes it prohibitive, you eat less
  2.  it’s organic, some flavours are sugar-free and
  3.  it improves on other peanut butter cups. Each Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup has 10 grams sugar and 105 calories, multiply that by two because packages contain 2 cups. Justin’s Milk PB cups have 9 grams sugar and 110 calories per cup. Justin’s PB cups comes in 3 flavours: dark, milk and white chocolate. The biggest advantage of Justin’s being organic is that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups contains a controversial ingredient called PGRP, replacing cocoa butter. PGRP causes permanent liver enlargement when consumed in excess.

Fun Dip vs Smarties

Smarties is better than Fun Dip, although both are just sugar and flavoring. Smarties and Fun Dip have the similar cooling citrus and fruity flavors, but are delivered differently. Smarties is compressed tablet type candies, that is chewed and quickly swallowed. Fun Dip is colored, flavoured sugar powder. It is eaten with a sugar stick, dip in sugar, then lick the stick to coat with sugar. This process lets sugar linger in the mouth longer, letting sugar keep in contact with the teeth much longer than Smarties. Both Smarties and Fun Dip have become controversial, as some school children have been caught inhaling and smoking crushed Smarties and Fun Dip powder.

Bubble Gum vs Sugar Free Gum

Sugar free gum is sweetened with artificial sweeteners, usually mannitol, aspantame or sorbitol. Sugar free means there are no sugars to cause tooth decay. If you are concerned about artificial sweeteners, take regular bubble gum instead. Either regular gum or sugar free gum are great for increasing saliva in the mouth. Saliva kills bacteria and treats bad breath. Gum, even the sugar free variety, cannot replace brushing or flossing. Some people use gum to tide themselves between meals, but it does not clean the teeth.

It’s fun to indulge in candy on Halloween. But don’t forget to rinse your mouth with water once in a while to remove excess sugar. Eating yogurt or hard cheese can help neutralize the high acidity created by sugar. Remember to brush your teeth, remind your kids to brush their teeth even if they’re very tired, before going to bed. Sugars left in the mouth can create cavities overnight.

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Dr. Josh Chocran

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