Avoiding Spooky Treats This Halloween!

It’s spooky season and Halloween is right around the corner; guess what that means?  Your children are going to want candy and lot’s of it – a pediatric dentist’s worst enemy.

So what are you going to do when your child says “trick or treat?”  We understand that children are going to have candy at Halloween, but there are some treats that are not quite as risky to indulge in.

The spookiest treats

Gummy Bears
Sticky, gooey, delicious!

The worst type of candy for your teeth is anything sticky, gummy, or gooey, think gummy bears, starbursts, skittles, twizzlers, etc. These candies stick to the grooves of your teeth and are not easily removed by saliva, your tongue or even tooth brushing.  If your child has any pre-existing fillings, these candies can often times damage or even dislodge the fillings.

Less scary alternatives

So what do we recommend for the child who is dying for candy at Halloween?  Ice cream, cookies, chocolate, or sugar free gum are all better alternatives to the traditional sticky Halloween candy.  Ice cream, cookies, and chocolate will still have sugar which can ultimately cause tooth decay, but at least they’re easier to clean from your teeth and are usually consumed quickly instead of “grazing”.

Orbit Gum
A better alternative

Sugar free gum is an excellent alternative to sticky candy.  The American Dental Association has placed their seal of approval on a number of chewing gum brands including Dentyne Ice Sugarless Gum, Stride Sugarless Gum, Trident Sugarless Gum, Wrigley’s Extra Sugarless Gum, and Wrigley’s Orbit Sugarfree Gum.  Chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals has also been shown to reduce tooth decay because it increases saliva, which is a buffer to the cavity-causing bacteria.

If you can convince your child to hand over the candy completely, some good snack alternatives would be fruit, cheese, or nuts.

Don’t forget, it’s important to eat your sweets at mealtime rather than as a snack, remember to drink a lot of water (yes, regular water, not flavored water), brush AND floss your teeth, and as always, visit your dentist regularly.

We hope you have a Happy, Safe and Healthy Halloween!