Candy Corn

Tricks for Keeping Teeth Healthy During Halloween

October 6, 2014

Halloween is fast approaching and soon children of all ages will be going door-to-door gathering candy and other treats. However, too many sugary-snacks can end up damaging the teeth of eager trick-or-treaters.

The student dentists and faculty members at Midwestern University’s Dental Institute have a few simple tips you can use to help your children enjoy Halloween without the nightmare of future cavities or tooth decay.

“Halloween is a fun holiday, but not all candy is equal in terms of its impact on your teeth,” said Darryn Weinstein, D.D.S., M.B.A., M.P.H., Assistant Dean of the College of Dental Medicine–Illinois. “Some candies wash away quickly while others stay on your teeth. The longer the candy is in contact with your teeth, the more likely it is that you are going to get cavities.”

Sticky or chewy candies such as gummies, taffy, and caramel are particularly bad for teeth. “The sticky candy can get stuck in the grooves of the teeth making it difficult for saliva to wash it away. Chocolate washes away more quickly, so that’s a better choice,” said Dr. Weinstein.

Halloween Candy Tips:

  • Make it part of a meal – eat candy with a meal, not as a snack
  • Moderation is the key
  • Keep candy for one week – then donate or dispose of it
  • Not all candy is equal – sticky candy sticks to teeth and is more likely to cause cavities
  • Monitor brushing – if a child is under 7 or 8 years old, a parent should help with teeth brushing; after age 8, parents should supervise brushing and offer friendly reminders to brush and floss
  • Sugar-free gum is okay

Halloween is a favorite holiday for many, and you should encourage your children to enjoy all aspects of the day. By practicing good oral hygiene and using moderation, your children can have a fun and safe Halloween and still enjoy the candy.

For more information on how to protect your children’s teeth this Halloween and throughout the year, contact Midwestern University’s Dental Institute in Illinois at 630-743-4500, and in Arizona at 623-537-6000.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not for use in diagnosing any condition. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, care, or treatment and does not establish a provider/patient relationship. Always consult your own physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions regarding any possible medical condition.

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