Ah, candy, how Americans love you so. Whether we eat candy for dessert, as a decadent treat at the movies or in an all-out, hedonistic Halloween gorge, the sweet stuff can be quite pleasing. But as far as treating bad breath goes, candy tends to fall short.
Plenty of people try freshening their breath with candy. Sour gummies, sweet chews or rich chocolates have all been used - at one time or another - as a stopgap measure for reducing halitosis. And while they might taste great, they simply don't work.
The problem is that candy feeds the bacteria that cause oral odor. These microbes, which live on the tongue and gums, process the food you eat and then emit smelly, sulphur-based compounds as a waste product. It's these molecules that give your bad breath its unpleasant aroma.
By eating candy, you're giving odor-causing microorganisms more fuel to throw on the fire. In fact, candy is particularly bad for breath, since it can also encourage tooth decay, plaque buildup and gingivitis - all of which further cause (you guessed it) bad breath.
Still, this hasn't kept certain industrious souls from trying to engineer a candy that fights bad breath. In fact, a study recently appearing in the trade publication Quintessence International has announced that a specially formulated candy appears to alleviate halitosis six times better than the regular kind.
Well, while that's just dandy, it's important to know that regular candy doesn't target bad breath. At all.
So, what does trick? Specialty breath freshening lozenges and gums can zap halitosis using healthier ingredients. And remember: Regular mints and gums (even some sugar-free varieties) might as well be candy, so steer clear of them.