Halloween is a magical night for children. In addition to dressing up and being surrounded by spooky fun, many kids eagerly look forward to trick or treating as well. And why not? Going door to door and getting treats is a singular experience – and one you can only partake in for a short time in life. This is the stuff of dreams for kids. The impact all those treats have on oral (and systemic) health, however, can be the stuff of nightmares for parents.

Candy for Gifts: A Growing Trend

Instead of preventing kids from trick or treating, consider adopting a new tradition: swapping candy for something more substantial, like a toy, game, craft, or book. Some families do this with the Switch Witch, a good witch who visits on Halloween night to exchange candy for gifts. Others, having little ones who are afraid of witches, choose something more innocuous, like the Sugar Sprite, who does the same thing. Of course, creative parents can come up with their own Halloween spirit as well, along with any mythology they’d like to make the experience one their children will cherish for years to come.

Which Candy is Best?

If you are going to swap only certain candies, consider getting rid of the worst offenders: hard candy, like jawbreakers, sticky candy, such as taffy and caramels, sour candy, and pure sugar, like Pixie Stix. These pose the largest threat to the teeth. Plain chocolate and most baked goods are a better option – just make sure your little ones brush after eating sugary snacks and try to limit intake to one time per day. These steps will help to minimize the damage that excess sugar consumption can cause.

Schedule a Cleaning Today

In addition to brushing after every meal and snack, it’s a good idea to have your children’s teeth professionally cleaned every six months. If it has been longer than six months or if you just need to get an appointment scheduled, give us a call at 602-978-1790 to set one up. Dr. Tenney and the staff at Desert Smiles welcome patients of all ages at our comfortable Glendale office and look forward to meeting the oral health and beauty needs of your family to help ensure each of you enjoys a strong and healthy smile for life.

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