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More than 90 percent of children go trick or treating and return home with bags full of sugary candy that can turn anyone's mouth into a nightmare. By taking a few preventive steps, however, children can enjoy Halloween without harming their teeth.
Since sugar-free gum is one treat that actually helps prevent cavities, it is a smart choice to drop in Halloween bags. Parents can also give it to their children to help neutralize the effects of sugary snacks after eating. Chewing sugar-free gum containing the artificial sweeteners sorbitol and xylitol reduces cavities. The chewing motion stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps cleanse the teeth.
Sweets are especially harmful, since damaging acids form in the mouth every time you eat a sugary snack and continue to affect the teeth for at least 20 minutes before they are neutralized. The sweetening agents in sugarless gum are effective in combating the bacteria in plaque and fighting the acid that eats away at enamel.
Reviewed: January 2012
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