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Halloween always offers youngsters a great opportunity to put on fun, colorful costumes and have fun with their friends visiting neighbors and filling their bags and tummies with tons of delicious halloween candy.

Be warned, however, that all those fun treats can turn into tricks! Listen to Your Orthodontist: Trick-or-Treating Can Be Bad for Your Kids’ Teeth.

While we can’t wait to see lovely princesses, scary ghosts, and cleverly disguised pirates in action with their pillowcases in hand to get lots of sugary treats, as an experienced orthodontist in Spokane Valley, I can tell you that excessive candy consumption exposes children of all ages to several unpleasant side effects. This can range from the common Halloween sugar overdose resulting in a sick, grumpy child and a long sleepless night for parents, to teeth issues such as cavities and broken braces.

How to Prevent Dental Problems This Halloween

As an orthodontist in Spokane Valley and Cheney, I am oftentimes the bearer of bad news around Halloween. I always advise parents to monitor their children’s trick-or-treating experience to make sure the candy they consume won’t end up ruining their teeth.

The good news is that these problems can be avoided even if kids rush out on Halloween night to satisfy their sweet tooth. Here are some of the most effective tips that children of all ages should follow to enjoy their treats and have fun on Halloween without requiring urgent dental care.

Go for Less Candy.

We can all agree that very few kids have the skills and self-control required to manage their candy stock. Some eat all the treats on Halloween night and go to bed satisfied without even brushing their teeth! The next morning, however, they wake up with a terrible sugar hangover and improved odds of getting cavities. This is why parents should encourage their kids to limit their candy consumption by using a smaller collecting container that will fill up rapidly or by picking out their favorites from the candy they collect and donating the rest to a good cause (more about that later).

Don’t Neglect Flossing and Brushing.

Flossing and brushing should be a part of your children’s teeth cleaning routine. You should make sure that they don’t skip these steps, especially around Halloween. Excessive sugar consumption can be linked to higher risks of developing cavities as bacteria present in your mouth live on the decomposition of sugars producing acid that breaks down your teeth. The more sugar you eat, the more bacteria will thrive contributing to the appearance of plaque deposits and acid production which can cause cavities.

Take Good Care of Braces.

Kids with braces should perfect their teeth cleaning ritual by following a few key steps such as:

  • Using good toothbrushing technique for the proper amount of time to clean around every brace and on every tooth surface
  • Brushing with fluoride toothpaste to help prevent cavities
  • Flossing teeth, using a floss-threader to get under the braces wire
  • Using antiseptic mouthwash as needed

Eat Only Certain Types of Candy.

Also, parents should advise their kids to avoid eating candy that is especially bad for their teeth. Sticky treats may stain the teeth, break brackets on braces, and turn the cleaning process into a mission impossible. Hard candies can also lead to broken or chipped teeth, broken braces or tooth sensitivity.

DaBell Is Helping Kids Have Fun on Halloween

This year, your trusted orthodontist in Spokane Valley and Cheney, DaBell Orthodontics is planning on helping kids consume sweets responsibly, earn money, and also help the armed forces enjoy a bit of Halloween spirit.

Here’s how it works:

kids will receive $1 for each pound of candy they bring to the office the day after Halloween. The school which has students delivering the biggest pile of sugary treats will receive a $250 donation. The best part is that all the sweets we collect through this initiative will be donated to our brave overseas soldiers via Operation Gratitude. To get enrolled in this program, just visit our office armed with a pillowcase, a carved pumpkin, or any other container filled with candy.

We’ll be waiting for you at our Spokane Valley and Cheney Offices on November 1, from 8am until 5pm to turn your candy into dollars. For any questions, feel free to contact us at 509-921-1700.

This is your chance to turn candy into dollar bills, do an act of kindness, and keep your teeth bright and healthy. We hope you have a spooky, safe, and happy Halloween!