vector-illustrtion-of-cartoon-halloween-pumpkin_Xy2-wU-[Converted]As a kid, Halloween was one of my favorite holidays- not quite as good as Christmas, but way better than Thanksgiving.  I still enjoy Halloween, but as a dentist I realize it can be hazardous to the health of our teeth.  Candy sales approach $2 billion every Halloween.  And as we’ve mentioned numerous times in this blog, sugar (NOT the lack of brushing and flossing) is the main culprit in causing tooth decay (aka- cavities).

So what can YOU do this year (other than encouraging your kid to dress up as a dentist…lol) to make Halloween a bit safer for teeth?

First, resist the urge to buy your Halloween candy supply early.  I firmly believe that any candy bought more than three days before Trick or Treat night often ends up rotting your family’s teeth before the big night.  (Do I lie?)

Second, consider handing out non-decay causing goodies instead of candy.  About.com and NationalServiceResources.org have lists of some good alternatives.  These include:

  • Glow-sticks
  • Sugar free gum
  • Halloween stickers
  • Small cans of playdoh
  • Pencils with Halloween erasers
  • Halloween bouncy balls
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Small bottles of bubbles
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Crayons
  • Coins (pennies, nickels, dimes)
  • Superballs
  • “Slime”
  • Sugar-free candy
  • Origami paper & instructions
  • Bubbles

Third, make sure your little ones only dip into their candy booty at meal times (when they’re likely feeding the sugar bugs anyway) and maybe one other time during the day (if they’ve been good, of course).  Remember, it’s not necessarily “how much” sugar we get, but rather “how often” that determines how many cavities we get.

So have fun this Halloween!  But try not to make your teeth “scream”.  Otherwise, you may end up looking like Jack up above.

Dr. Steve

Roseville Family Dentist

Dr. Steven Lee graduated from the UCLA School of Dentistry in 1985. He was a dental examiner on the National Health and Nutrition Exam Survey (NHANES III). And he is the leader of the American River Study Club. Dr. Lee has been practicing general dentistry in Roseville CA for the last 18 years.