Halloween Candy and Your Teeth


It’s that time again:  witches, zombies, ghosts, and superheroes will be going house to house threatening tricks and praying for treats.  Halloween is meant to be a fun time for everyone, but there are also many concerns for candy givers and trick-or-treaters alike.  Let’s consider how to make this Halloween both safe and fun.

If you’re giving out candy this year, please be considerate of what you give out.  Parents are looking for fresh, firmly-sealed manufactured candies, gum, lollipops, etc.  While homemade treats most often do taste best, realize that overprotective parents like myself won’t let their kids eat such gifts from strangers.  Buy your candy from a reputable store and keep it sealed until you’re ready to hand it out.

If your child is trick-or-treating, make sure that his or her costume allows them to both see and walk easily.  Keep a close eye on them, as many other kids may be wearing the same costume.  Encourage them to display their best manners and to thank whoever gives them a treat.  To have a safe Halloween experience, choose either a familiar neighborhood or a church trunk or treat program.

Considering that I am a dentist, I have to write this paragraph too.  While consuming vast amounts of sugary candy can lead to tooth decay, the biggest problem with Halloween candy is the breaking of teeth. Before you let your children go crazy eating their Halloween treats, make sure that their teeth are in good enough shape to be eating hard candies, peanuts, and the like. Baby teeth that are about to exfoliate (that is, come out) are often very brittle and can shatter when biting into something hard like an Everlasting Gobstopper.  Sticky candies such as Now-and-Laters can pull out fillings, stainless steel crowns, and orthodontic brackets and rubber bands.  In addition, newly erupted teeth have underdeveloped roots, which can make them mobile.  Biting into hard candy can cause damage to these new permanent teeth as well.  Of course, when your little ghosts and goblins finish eating their candy, make sure they brush and floss appropriately.  Leaving sugar on the teeth overnight from candies, soda, and juices is one of the number one causes of tooth decay in children.

In closing, I’ll answer the most common question I get this time of year:  what does a dentist give out for Halloween?  The answer for this dentist is Snickers, Milky Way, and Three Musketeers candy bars.

Have a wonderful Halloween and be safe and healthy!

For more dental care questions visit, Jarrod.