Tips for Healthy Smiles this Halloween

October 20, 2016

Student dentists with patient


Temperatures are cooling, decorations are starting to appear on houses and in shops, and grocery store shelves are filling up with bags of treats. In short, Halloween is rapidly approaching, bringing with it a tsunami of candy.

We offer some advice for how parents can help keep their children's mouths (and their own) healthy this season.

Choose sweets carefully. Some candies are less harmful to teeth than others. Opt for chocolates over sticky toffee or hard sour candies. Remember that the longer food lingers in the mouth, the more likely it is to encourage the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Consume candy right after a meal. Don't nibble treats all day. You can enjoy a piece or two of Halloween candy, but rinse your mouth or drink water afterwards.

Keep tooth-friendly snacks around. Cheese, yogurt, nuts, apples and carrots are all good choices. (If your child wears braces, be sure to cut the apples and carrots into thin pieces.)

Don't drink the sugar. Water is a better beverage choice than soda or juice. Even diet sodas can damage your child's teeth!

Stick to the hygiene routine. Even after a long day and a late night of trick-or-treating, make sure your child flosses and brushes their teeth before they go to bed.

Dispose of the evidence. Some dentists' offices offer a Halloween candy buyback program. You may be able to find one near you here.

For more information, visit these useful websites:

Why not use the holiday as a reminder to make an appointment for your child's next visit to the dentist? University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry offers dental services for children at its Hutto Patterson Pediatric Dentistry Clinic in San Francisco. Call 415.929.6550 to make an appointment or visit the clinic's website to learn more learn about dental services for children.