To Your Health: Turns out, dentists are all about the treats, too

candy bowlHave you ever wondered what dentists give out on Halloween? So did we.

To get the scoop, we went to the tooth fairy (who else, right?). Or, more accurately, to the Tooth Fairy poll, which asked 250 dentists nationwide about their Halloween treat-giving practices.

We assumed that most dentists would give out toothbrushes. (Oh, how wrong we were!)

Actually, a majority of dentists – about 60 percent — said they do give out candy, but they largely stick to chocolate. That’s because chocolate isn’t in your mouth for long. Chewy and hard candies stay in your mouth much longer and are harder to get off your teeth.

Meanwhile, only about 5 percent of dentists said they give out toothbrushes. The rest said they don’t give out anything on Halloween.

While most dentists do give out candy, they also have some suggestions for making your Halloween a healthy one.

Check out these tips:

Kids (and parents) should eat a good meal before trick-or-treating. That will help cut down on sugary snacking.

Limit the number of candies your kids eat after trick-or-treating to one or two. Then, make sure the little ones brush their teeth well and floss before heading to bed.

Chocolate is a better candy choice for trick-or-treaters because it melts in your mouth quickly and washes off the teeth easily. Got dark chocolate? Even better.

Offer to buy your children’s candy from them after they’ve enjoyed a few pieces, or suggest a trade (maybe candy for a cool toy).

Consider handing out alternatives to candy at your house. A few suggestions: Small toys, fruit or dried fruit, pencils or erasers, or popcorn or pretzels. You’ll be modeling a healthy behavior and ensuring the leftovers don’t spell trouble for your teeth or your waistline.

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