Halloween is just around the corner. For parents, managing the mountain of sugar can be a challenge, yet it is possible to balance Halloween treats and keep kids on track for good dental health.

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“Halloween is a great time for parents to reinforce good dental habits,” says Dr. David Ciriani, president of the British Columbia Dental Association. “Children are susceptible to cavities which can cause pain, infection and affect their dental development. With so many tempting treats around, parents can try a few simple strategies to engage young children in caring for their teeth.”


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Simple tips for good dental health this Halloween and throughout the year:

  • Choose better treat options: Plain chocolate or sugarless gum are better options than hard and sticky candies. Sucking on hard candies leaves the mouth constantly bathed in sugar while chewy treats can stick to the teeth. Crunching on hard candies can also result in chips or cracks to the teeth. You can also hand out small items such as themed stickers, pencils or even a toothbrush!
  • Limit sugary treats to meal times: Allow your child to choose a treat to have with their lunch or dinner. Children are most prone to cavities when they nibble constantly on foods or drinks containing sugar throughout the day.
  • Share the wealth: Sit down and go through the candy with your child. Let your child choose some of their favourites and agree to give some away to a local food bank or community group.
  • Reinforce brushing and flossing: Halloween is a great time to remind your kids about the importance of daily brushing (in the morning after breakfast and before bedtime) and flossing. This is one of the simplest ways to keep their mouth clean and healthy.


Dental disease is largely preventable with a well-balanced diet, daily mouth care (brushing and flossing) and regular examinations to catch any problems early. Learn more at bcdental.org or talk to your dentist.

SOURCE British Columbia Dental Association

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