Trick or Treat – Watch Your Sweets! Healthy Smiles for Kids | @PretendCity @HealthySmilesOC

A Guest Post from Liz Bear, CEO of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County:

Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County is now working with Pretend City And Combined Are Sharing Insights into How Parents Can Help Minimize Tooth Decay in Children While Still Indulging in Halloween Treats

Pumpkin Patch Fun
Toddler Trails Disclosure
 October is here and Halloween is steadily creeping up on the calendars. And what better way to kick-off the Halloween countdown than to start practicing a new customary Halloween chant, “Trick or treat?  Watch your sweets!”  This fun holiday introduces children to tradition, costumes, candy and not surprisingly, cavities.  Although the experience of trick-or-treating is not worth skipping out on during a growing child’s life, parents need to be aware that the treats children receive can become a dental nightmare after Halloween’s passing. 

Caramel Apples

Ghoulish costumes aren’t the only things that are frightening during this holiday season; beware of candies that can be the scariest for children’s teeth.  In fact, don’t be a sucker for suckers.  Candies like suckers are one of the worst options for little trick-or-treaters, including taffies, caramel and hard candies.  All of these dental hygiene culprits wreak more havoc on teeth than most treats.  


 Healthy Smiles For Kids of Orange County, a nonprofit comprehensive pediatric dental health organization that serves children, provides alternative ideas and tips on candies more likely to be cavity-causing culprits.  Here’s there Boo’s and Do’s list that will help you navigate this spooky season:


  • Snickers, Twix, Almond Joy and other candy with fillings can be sticky and get easily caught in children’s teeth, causing decay.
  • Chewy candy like Skittles, Tootsie Roll, jelly beans and candy corn take longer to eat.  These are likely to linger in the grooves of teeth for hours and can create a higher acid content, making it easy for bacteria to feast.
  • Like chewy candies, hard candies and suckers are the scariest for teeth.  Candies like Jolly Ranchers, Jawbreakers, Charms Blow Pops and others take the longest to dissolve and in turn, are the most harmful.  These sweets keep sugar in the mouth for the longest periods of time.  Flush away excess sugar and lower the acid level by swishing water around the mouth.
  • Just like sweets, sour candies like WarHeads, Wonka Fun Dip Powder and others have high levels of acid that can break down tooth enamel quickly.  The acid levels of some sour candies may also be as bad as battery acid!
  • Sugar-free gum like Trident with XYLITOL creates saliva to help clean out germs and sugar, as well as help neutralize the effects of sugary snacks.
  • Chocolates like M&M’s or Hershey’s Kisses, for instance, are sweets that melt away and disappear in a short period, which gives children a chance to still “live a little.”   
  • Sugar-free Life Savers are just some of sweet picks that make all the difference in lowering children’s chances of tooth decay.  
  • Pixy Stix, Sweet Tarts and other powdery candy are the closest to eating a sack of sugar.  However, if poured directly on the tongue without touching teeth, cavity-causing bacteria have nothing to feed on.  The faster powdery candy dissolves, the less likely bacteria will cause damage.
It is possible for candy to be enjoyed without the nightmare of cavities post-Halloween.  Youngsters should always remember to brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily for two minutes in the morning and before bedtime.  To prevent poor dental hygiene, children should attend regular dental visits every six months starting at age one.  And don’t forget to replace toothbrushes every three or four months.  Last, but certainly not least, floss teeth daily!  The use of floss picks instead of regular floss make flossing easy and fun.  
Liz Bear, CEO of Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County brings 25 years of experience in the health care field and is passionate about spreading awareness on how parents can make a difference in their children’s oral health.


Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply