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5 Healthy Halloween Tips

Child in a skeleton costume holding a pumpkin bucket full of Halloween candy

Boo! Don’t be spooked by the thought of sugar harming your child’s teeth this Halloween. While the holiday is known for indulging in sweet treats, there’s ways to enjoy candy without risking your smile. Here are our top five tips for tooth-friendly trick or treating:

1. Be selective with your sweets

Not all sweet treats are the same. In fact, chewy, hard or sour candies are worse for teeth than other types of candy.

  • Hard candies can be particularly tough on teeth, so remind your child to avoid biting if they indulge in this type of treat.
  • Chewy candies are also more problematic because they are typically kept in the mouth longer, extending the time teeth are exposed to sugar.
  • Sour candies are usually very acidic, which can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities.

2. Opt for tooth-friendly alternatives

Letting kids enjoy themselves while finding a compromise can benefit their oral health in the short and long term. Here’s a few ways to balance their health and happiness:

  • Don’t be afraid of the dark … chocolate that is! It washes off teeth easier than other candies.
  • Sugarless gum keeps the mouth occupied with chewing – and leaves out the added sugars found in popular Halloween candies. Plus, it’s been proven to help prevent cavities. Talk about a win-win!
  • Pumpkin carvings and ghost stories are always a good idea! When it’s time for a snack break, pair apple slices with peanut or almond butter.
  • And don’t forget about non-edible treats! Stickers, temporary tattoos, whistles, crayons and coloring books are all inexpensive kid-friendly prizes that can make a Halloween celebration special.

3. Practice moderation

Moderation is key to a tooth-friendly Halloween. Try limiting the number of houses you visit while trick-or-treating to help reduce the number of sweets you collect.

When indulging, encourage small portions. Reaching for a fun-sized candy bar instead of a full-sized one will help reduce the amount of sugar consumed. Not overeating can also help avoid a stomachache! One fun way to do that is to create a “candy budget” to limit the servings your child receives each day.

4. Keep healthy habits

With snacking comes responsibility. Remember these smile-friendly tips:

  • Taking sips of water while eating sweets helps rinse away sugar that can stick to teeth.
  • Eating candy with a meal instead of continuous snacking can help protect your teeth. That’s because chewing produces more saliva, which works to remove sugar from your teeth.
  • Brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing teeth before bed will scare away cavities and remove any harmful bacteria!

5. Maintain preventive care

Schedule a dental visit for your child before the end of the year to make the most of your dental benefits. Not only are regular dental visits important to protect your child’s teeth from decay, but your dentist can also identify other health issues before they worsen.


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