Iowa’s little ghosts and goblins will soon be hitting the sidewalks, ringing doorbells and begging for treats. While it may sound contradictory, a survey finds a majority of Iowa dentists do give out candy to the costumed kids, according to Dr. Ed Schooley, dental director for Delta Dental of Iowa.
Schooley says, “Twenty-five-percent of dentists don’t give out anything at Halloween and 75-percent do and the majority of those give out chocolate, which is really the confectionary choice.” He says there’s a good reason behind that being the treat of choice for dentists, and it’s no trick.
“Sweets like chocolate that quickly dissolve in the mouth can actually be eaten easily and it lessens the amount of time that sugar stays in contact with the teeth,” Schooley says. “We prefer sweets like chocolate over the hard candy or the chewy treats which can create a prolonged amount of time stuck to the teeth.” He says Iowa parents can help promote healthy dental hygiene during the upcoming holiday.
“Set limits on how much and when to consume the candy gotten at Halloween,” Schooley says. “Stay away from giving candy between meals. Do it after dinner. Once you do have candy, chase it with a glass of water. That always helps dissolve the sugar.” Before hitting the candy aisle of the grocery store to stock up for the month’s end ritual, he suggests considering some tooth-healthy alternatives.
He says, “Some parents give out stickers, temporary tattoos, pencils, erasers, toothbrushes, sugar-free gum and candy.” Learn more tips to take the horror out of Halloween for a kids’ teeth at: www.trickytreats.org.