Bacteria have a sweet tooth, too. When you eat sticky candy like gummy bears, cherry vines and even mint chews, the bacteria "has a party," says Kimberly Harms, DDS, the consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. It feasts on the sugar and spreads to all areas of your mouth—including hard-to-reach areas in the grooves of the teeth. But here's a surprise: Dentists have started recommending chocolate
as a more healthful alternative to candy. Harms says that chocolate not only dissolves relatively quickly but also has less sugar than other candy, as well as a small amount of calcium to protect enamel.