Members of the Minnesota Dental Association are educating parents, teachers and children with a campaign called The Power of Sour on Your Teeth.
"Candies promising a sweet and sour or 'extreme sour' experience are very acidic," the dentists say in a statement. "They can cause permanent erosion of the dental enamel on teeth, and may even lead to decay. The teeth can also become more sensitive when consuming hot, cold or sweet food and drinks."
Some chocolate is OK, the dentists say, and healthy alternatives are available. The dentists recommend:
-- Sugarless gum.
-- Rubber spiders.
-- Small packets of crayons or markers.
-- Pencils with fun-shaped erasers.
-- Small charms.
-- Bags of trail mix.
-- Juice boxes containing 100 percent juice.
-- Small chocolate candies without caramel or components that will stick to teeth.
"If you have a trick-or-treater that does eat sour candy, suggest they eat cheese or drink milk afterwards, or swish their mouth with water, to neutralize the acids," the dentists say. "Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Protect teeth throughout the year by reducing or eliminating sour candies from your treat list."
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