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4 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

  • October 1, 2021

October is a month where lots of things go bump in the night. As your dental team, what keeps us up is the fear that you and your family will overindulge in Halloween candy! We’re not monsters, so we won’t insist on completely skipping the treats. But we’ve got some tricks that will help you and your family have a healthier Halloween.

Try our advice:

  • Agree on rules early on
  • Skip the scariest treats
  • Hand out treats other than candy
  • Find a good use for leftover candy

If you’d like to schedule exams for your family before your schedule fills with holiday events, call Total Dental Care today at 803-272-4162

Establish Ground Rules From the Start

You’ll likely experience less pushback from your kids if you work together to establish rules before you start trick-or-treating or attending holiday parties. We suggest identifying “bad” options you’ll want to eliminate when sorting candy. You can agree to substitute healthier treats, small toys, or even cash for these unhealthy options. 

Your youngest children might enjoy leaving these candies out for the “Halloween fairy.” Her job is similar to that of her cousin, the Tooth Fairy. She will leave something for your child in place of the candy. 

We also suggest setting a limit on the number of pieces and/or time your kids can have their treats each day. For example, you may want to let them enjoy two or three pieces of candy each night after dinner. 

Avoid the Scariest Treats for a Healthier Halloween

Three types of candy are the most likely to damage your family’s teeth: sour (gummies and suckers), hard (jawbreakers and toffee) and sticky (caramels and taffy). You’ll want to avoid them whenever possible to have a healthier Halloween.

We’ve repaired quite a few fillings and other restorations that were damaged by chewy and sticky candy. This candy also clings stubbornly to your kids’ teeth. The bacteria in their mouths feeds on the sugar the candy contains and uses it to form acid that eats into enamel and causes cavities. Soft chocolate treats like candy bars are a better choice. The chocolate dissolves quickly and is washed away by saliva. 

Hard candies can also damage teeth and restorations if your child bites down on them too hard. We’re happy to help in dental emergencies, but you won’t want to worry about on Halloween night! 

Hand Out Healthier Treats

There are lots of options for non-candy treats that will still appeal to kids and result in a healthier Halloween. If you’re giving out treats at home or at events like trunk-or-treats, consider some of these snacks:

  • Chocolate-covered nuts or raisins
  • Juice boxes (look for 100 percent juice)
  • Fruit snacks
  • Juice boxes (look for 100 percent juice)
  • Snack-size crackers or pretzels
  • Sugar-free gum

Non-candy options can be fun too:

  • Stickers
  • Bubbles
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Glow bracelets or glow sticks
  • Small puzzles and games
  • Vampire teeth
  • Colorful erasers

Give Away Your Leftover Halloween Candy

If you want to find a home for some of the treats you’ve agreed to avoid, you might want to consider sending it to soldiers. Two organizations who collect surplus candy and distribute it to our troops are:

  • Operation GratitudeThis organization has been sharing leftover candy with soldiers since 2007.
  • Soldiers’ Angels – You can find locations where this organization has partnered with local businesses to collect candy. 

You can also save some of your extra candy for holiday decorating. Before too long, you’ll be setting tables for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You’ll find lots of ideas online for transforming candy into special holiday treats. If you make gingerbread houses, you can use the candy for construction materials. For example, Tootsie Rolls work great as “logs.”

To make appointments for your family at Total Dental Care, call us today at 803-272-4162.


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