plastic pumpkin buckets with gummy candies

Halloween is around the corner, which means that it’s time to pick out candy for the neighborhood kids. There is a lot to think about: It can’t be something that will tempt you, yet it needs to be something that the trick-or-treaters will enjoy without making their parents “forget” to invite you to the next community get-together. It doesn’t have to be that difficult, though. I’ve got a few tricks that will make your treat purchases a piece of cake. What are they?

Treats to Avoid

All candies are not created equal. When you’re browsing the candy aisle this month, try to avoid the following treats:

  • Sour Candy — Not only do these treats have loads of sugar, they also contain large amounts of acids that can harm tooth enamel. When you see the words “sour” or “tart” on the label, keep on walking.
  • Sticky Candy — Gummies and caramels may be delicious, but they tend to stick to little (and big) teeth. The longer sugar has to sit on teeth, the greater opportunity plaque bacteria has to cause decay.
  • Hard Candy — As an adult, you may have the patience to let hard candy melt in your mouth, but very few children do. If you want to avoid chipped or cracked teeth, skip the Everlasting Gobstoppers, Fireballs, and Jolly Ranchers and move along.

Your Best Options

No need to rule out all candy: There are several options available that will keep kids AND kids-at-heart happy.

  • Chocolate — Your body temperature melts chocolate as you eat it, making it unlikely to fracture teeth. If you opt for dark instead of milk chocolate, you add the bonus of health-boosting antioxidants.
  • Sugar-Free Gum — Gum has multiple benefits: Chewing it dislodges food particles from between teeth, stimulates the production of saliva (which naturally cleans teeth), and when it’s sugar-free, won’t contribute to tooth decay.
  • Toys — Small trinkets like Play-Doh, kazoos, and bouncy-balls last much longer than candy, will appeal to the kids (after they’ve plowed through a dozen pieces of candy), won’t tempt you, and will be appreciated by parents. Even if it’s not candy, it’s still a treat.

If you have a candy-related incident this Halloween, don’t hesitate to call. In the meantime, enjoy every second of this fun-filled holiday.

Until your next appointment,

Dr. Sehnert