VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Once in a while, Dr. Daniel Barton sees a Halloween candy-related injury in his chair at Beach Dental Center.
"Now and then, I'll get the broken molar in the back," he said, describing cases where someone bit down too early on a piece of hard candy. "The tooth may need a crown [because] it's so weakened, it can't stand alone on its own."
More commonly, he sees people come in with cavities. Dr. Barton is realistic, though, and understands kids and their parents are going to indulge.
If you do, he says pure chocolate candy is the best option. Sticky candy and hard candy can get stuck in your teeth and isn't easy to get out.
Brushing, Dr. Barton says, should happen soon after you're done digging in.
“The microbes in the mouth that eats the sugar can turn that sugar into acid which eats away at your teeth and that’s how we get cavities. That’s how we get holes in our teeth so that’s why it’s important to remember to brush our teeth as soon as we’ve had that candy," he told News 3.
Parents will also want to watch out for something that isn't supposed to be in the candy their children bring home.
Patient First locations are bringing back the use of their X-ray machines to scan for metals, plastics and other dangerous materials to give parents and kids peace-of-mind.
Dr. Maulin Desai at the Hampton location says he's never heard of a scan finding anything dangerous. The bigger concern is just eating too much candy at once.
“Obviously, there’s a lot of candy out there and a lot of candy is going to come home. Just remind your children you don’t have to eat it all at one time. You can spread it out throughout the entire year actually," he said.
Bernadette Watkins, a Yorktown mom who runs a blog called The Mommy Cooler, says she and her husband look at their kids' candy as soon as they bring it home.
She tells News 3, instead of searching for obvious, but rare dangers like plastics and metal in candy, she looks for anything that looks out of the ordinary, like open packaging. That can be an indicator that the candy was tampered with.