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What do dentists give out for Halloween?

Have you ever wondered what dentists give out on Halloween?

More than 76% give out some type of candy on All Hallows’ Eve, according to a 2017 American Dental Association survey of more than 200 members. About 4% do not hand out anything, while 15% hand out toothbrushes with their candy treats.

Of those who hand out candy, 13% choose chocolate, while 43% hand out other varieties like hard candy, jellybeans or lollipops.

Whether you’re a dentist or not, keeping oral health in mind at Halloween is crucial. Time is of the essence when it comes to teeth and sugar, so not all candy is equally scary:

  • Chewy treats and hard candy. These candies are particularly damaging because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth and are more difficult for teeth to break down.
  • Sour candies. These treats tend to be very acidic, and the acid allows the bacteria that cause tooth decay to work more efficiently.
  • Chocolate. Chocolate quickly dissolves in the mouth and can be eaten easily, which lessens the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Chocolate also has oils that actually decrease the activity of the bacteria that cause decay. Darker chocolate is better because there’s less sugar in it.

Keep teeth healthy at Halloween

To help keep maintain oral health during Halloween and beyond, remember the following tips:

  • Drink water. Drinking water after sugary treats helps wash away the acid and any candy that’s left in your mouth. Encourage kids to take sips every so often to break up the candy frenzy.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Saliva works in your favor in the fight against tooth decay. When you chew gum, you produce saliva that helps neutralize the acid in your mouth. Sugarless chewing gum can be a Halloween option that's much better for your teeth than traditional candy.
  • Brush and floss teeth thoroughly. Encourage your children to brush and floss regularly and be sure they maintain good oral health habits during candy-filled holidays like Halloween.

Last updated October 12, 2021

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. Always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.