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Franklyn Alexander, DDS
General & Cosmetic Dentistry

Patients Choice Winner 2016

Halloween Treats That Won’t Scare Your Teeth

Halloween is supposed to be scary, but that doesn’t mean it should be for your teeth. Before you buy a few bags of candy for the neighborhood monsters, take a minute to consider what’s best for the health of their teeth. The info will help with your own dental care, too- a survey reveals that 80 percent of parents partake in the candy consumption too.

Regulate Treat Time

It’s tempting for kids (and adults) to go on a candy-eating craze after collecting as much as they can from neighborhood houses. It’s best to limit the amount of candy eaten in one sitting. Have you child pick out a few treats and tuck the rest away so you can dole it out in a more controlled manner. Try to pass it out with a meal and have your kid drink a glass of water afterwards to rinse away any remaining sugar.

Some Candies are Better Than Others

When you’re stocking up on candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, keep in mind that some choices are better than others. It all comes down to how long the candy spends in the mouth and how hard it is.

Jawbreakers and hard gumballs can damage teeth by causing chips or breaks. Plus, any type of hard candy spends more time in the mouth, meaning your teeth are exposed to harmful sugars longer. Sticky candies, like Tootsie Rolls, Candy Corn, Skittles, caramels, or gummies have a tendency to get stuck in the grooves of teeth and are more likely to dodge toothbrushes. You can also look for sugar-free options of these classic favorites.

Chocolate is a better candy choice because it quickly dissolves and disappears from the mouth. However, candy bars that contain caramel or another sticky filling aren’t any better than sticky or hard candy.

Consider Alternative Treats

Halloween treats aren’t limited to candy. After all, kids are going to get that from most of the other houses. Why not be the creative one?

Here are a few alternative ideas:

  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small toys like bubbles, yo-yos, or finger puppets
  • Spooky rings or wristbands
  • Fruit
  • Snack-size bags of crackers or pretzels
  • Stickers
  • Pencil toppers or erasers

Get creative and protect children’s teeth this Halloween!