Trick or treat: What Halloween’s spooky treats can do to your teeth

Dr. Gary Vance

| 2 min read

candy corn
Candy apples, superheroes and pumpkin-flavored coffee can only mean one thing…Halloween is here! Kids across the state will venture door to door to ask their neighbors “trick or treat.”
Before your kids eat all those treats, here are some tricks and helpful tips to keep the candy from damaging their teeth:
  • Although consuming large amounts of sweets is unavoidable in the weeks to come, you can find candy that’s better for your teeth and will keep the kiddos happy. These can include dark chocolate, sugar-free lollipops or sugar-free gum.
  • Sugar may be the main culprit to cause cavities, but it’s not alone. Studies suggest sugar and starch together can also attract harmful bacteria in your mouth, causing those unwanted cavities.
  • Jawbreakers and sugar-laden lollies can erode teeth enamel. When the citric and malic acid found in these candies combine with your saliva, it dissolves slowly, lingering on your teeth and eroding enamel in the process.
Cavities vs. Candy
Instead of hiding the six pounds of Halloween candy your kids worked so hard for in a cabinet far from the reach of little hands, encourage your kids to take care of their teeth and enjoy their sweets in moderation.
  • As soon as your kids get home after a night of trick or treating, let them pick a handful of treats they want to keep, then move the unpicked treats to a place out of sight for future enjoyment.
  • Set a time when your child can enjoy one of their Halloween treats. This teaches the importance of not eating sweets all day long.
Enjoy your Halloween fun, dress up as a pumpkin family and indulge in a treat (or two) but remember moderation is key. Have a happy (and healthy) Halloween!
Photo credit: Scott McLeod

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.