Halloween teeth watch: Acidity in sour candy bad for dental heal - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Halloween teeth watch: Acidity in sour candy bad for dental health

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Halloween spirit is still alive and well, if only in those candy buckets sitting in your homes.

But there are some big differences when it comes to your child's health and the candy they eat.

Sour or sweet, chocolate or chewy, it's probably all good to your kids.

But according to Tyler dentist Dr. Rick Coker, it turns out that not all candies are created equal.

"Sour candies have a much lower PH - I mean, neither one of them are good, you know it's like would you rather be shot or hanged? Neither are good. But sour candies have a lower PH and a lower PH causes the decalcification or the going away of the enamel that we call a cavity," Coker said.

Like all foods, candy is rated on a PH level to determine its acidity -- the lower the level, the harder it is for your teeth. Teeth start breaking down at a PH level 4, and most sour candies range in acidity from 3 to 1.6. You get down to a level 1 and we're talking something else entirely-- battery acid.

"Sour candies actually have the sweet and the sour and the low PH, so they're worse," Coker said. "Chocolate conversely, is the best. It's got more oil in it, it doesn't seem to figure into decay."

According to Dr. Coker, the best way to prevent decay is to keep those teeth clean.

"At the gumline, the chewing surface, and in between the teeth, that's what you do. And with a kid, you can do all that in 3 minutes," he said.

But Dr. Coker also has some advice you might think is strange.

"Actually the best thing is just let your kids eat all the candy they want that day and then throw it away the next. It has to do with how much time it's in your mouth, and how many times a day, so the worst thing you can do is have a little bit several times a day," he said.

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