Beware of diet candy.

Don’t assume sugar-free confections are easy on your teeth.

Recent investigations by Sok-Ja Janket, DDS, reveal that the sour and fruit flavorings in candies can interact with sugar-free sweeteners to create an acidic mix in your mouth that weakens and yellows teeth.

The worst culprits are fruit-flavored lollipops because they dissolve slowly, giving acid more time to attack teeth.

Chewing gum (even a fruit-flavored variety) is the least destructive, since it stimulates a flow of saliva that washes away the harmful acids.

If you must have your hard candies, Dr. Janket recommends choosing any kind of mint flavor—peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen—or, her personal favorite, butterscotch. Otherwise, you know the drill: “Brush immediately after each meal or exposure to acidic foods and candies,” she says.

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