Halloween candy can take a frightening toll on teeth

Studies show about 4% of all candy consumption in the United States happens on Halloween night, but these sweets can take a frightening toll on your teeth.

"Lots of kids that will end up with cavities if they don't take care of their teeth properly," Dr. Millburn of Carolina Forest Family Dentistry said.

"When you intake sugar into the mouth, it mixes with the bacteria that is naturally in your mouth, and that in turn causes acid, which if that process continues to happen over and over again, it will lead to small holes in the teeth, which are cavities," Dr. Millburn said.

Those cavities can even take up to 2 years to form.

But there are certain types of candy out there that are gentler on the teeth.

"You want to try to avoid things that are very sticky that will linger in the mouth for a long period of time," Dr. Millburn said.

Taffy, gummies and caramels are examples of sticky candies.

He said solid chocolate is your best bet if you're looking for teeth-friendly candy.

"It watches off the teeth quickly, which will allow less acid to form from bacteria in the mouth," Dr. Millburn said.

As always, he said taking certain preventative measures can help.

"What you want to try to do is follow the 1-2-3's of good oral hygiene. One is to floss once a day. Two is to brush your teeth twice a day, preferably after you eat. Three is to eat 3 balanced meals every day," Dr. Millburn said.

If you're still concerned about your kids eating all the candy they've brought home on trick-or treat night, check with your family physician about candy buyback programs they may have in place.