Candy and tooth decay – It’s raining candy; what’s a parent to do?


With Halloween upon us I would be remiss without making a few hopefully helpful suggestions on how best to weather the “ candy storm”! With almost $ 7 billion in sales, Halloween has somehow become the second most popular holiday in America, only outdone by the Christmas season. The Huffington Post reports about $2 billion of that in the sale of candy alone!

No, this doesn’t translate to an immediate need for my services starting the day after, but it does give pause for thought on the consequences of our behavior. The consumption of treats sweetened with high fructose corn syrup not only adds to the problems of obesity and diabetes, but promotes tooth decay as well. Every parent is tasked with the responsibility of how to handle this challenge, so here are a few suggestions to minimize the destruction. I hope this helps.

  1. Take control of the candy supply and dole out sweets periodically throughout the holidays.
  2. Make sure your kids swish with water after indulging to dilute the acids created by  decay causing bacteria. (Don’t brush immediately after eating candy as this could contribute to erosion of enamel!.)
  3. Avoid hard or sticky candies that stay in the mouth a long time and feed those nasty bacteria.
  4. Substitute healthier snacks when possible.
  5. Don’t allow late night snacking before the kids (you too!) go to bed.
  6. Make sure you brush and floss before bedtime.
  7. Insist on fluoride treatments for the kids when at the dental office. (The CDC has called fluoridation of public water supplies one of the top 10 public health advances of the last century!)

I hope you enjoy the holiday and don’t wind up paying the unanticipated costs of overindulgence.


Best wishes,
Larry Stone, DDS