Halloween brings seasonal fun for children and adults, including costumes, haunted houses, trick-or-treating, parties, and lots of sweet treats. Eating candy is part of the fun, but practice moderation. Take some of the horrors out of your Halloween by avoiding damage to your teeth. Here are 10 spooky stats about Halloween Candy and your Oral Health!
Halloween Candy Statistics
- U.S. consumers will spend an estimated $3.1 billion on Halloween candy this year.
- Americans consume an average of 24 pounds of candy per person annually.
- Surveys show that 93% of families plan to celebrate Halloween in 2022.
- Most dentists recommend brushing teeth 30 to 60 minutes after eating candy.
- According to the American Dental Association, chocolate has a lower tooth decay risk than sticky candies.
- Studies show people consume up to 675 grams of sugar on Halloween.
- The average American household spends around $40 on Halloween candy.
- Sugar causes cavities by wearing down tooth enamel and allowing bacteria to damage the teeth.
- Data shows that an average of 26% of Americas eat candy daily.
- Chocolate is the most popular candy choice in the U.S.
10 Ways to Make Halloween Candy Safer for Oral Health
Avoid Sticky Candy
Sticky candy and treats can damage dental work. Candy apples, caramel, taffy, and gummy candies stick to the teeth. A filling, crown, or veneer can come loose when biting the sweets.
Sort Out the Candy
When returning from trick-or-treating, help your children sort their candy. Remove the worst culprits for dental damage. Along with the sticky treats, avoid sour and hard candies. Sour candies are high in acid and can damage tooth enamel. Hard candies can break teeth if chewed. Stick to softer options, like chocolates.
Too Much Sugar Causes Cavities
Studies show that people who drink and eat higher amounts of sugar have a higher occurrence of cavities. The problem with Halloween candy isn’t just the sugar consumed that night. The issues occur when Halloween candy lingers and eating sugary treats become part of the daily routine.
Brushing Improves Oral Health
It’s true! Brushing teeth twice daily helps maintain oral health. Brushing becomes even more critical as the holidays approach with more sugary treats. Ensure children brush their teeth before bed to remove sugar from their teeth.
Flossing Helps Gums and Teeth
Tiny candy particles can wedge between the teeth leading to gum irritation and tooth decay. Flossing before bed removes these unwanted particles. If you or your children plan to consume candy, take the time to floss to avoid oral health issues.
Offer Sugar-Free Gum as an Alternative
According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar-free gum can help reduce cavities in patients that brush and floss daily. Instead of candy, consider handing out sugar-free gum. You may also want to chew sugar-free gum to clean the mouth of excess sugar after eating candy.
Drink Water to Flush Sugar
Avoid sugary beverages when eating candy. Instead, drink plenty of water. Drinking water helps flush the mouth with sugar and acid. Plus, drinking water increases hydration for improved overall health.
Eat Dinner Before Trick-or-Treating
Consuming sugary snacks on an empty stomach can make you want to eat more than usual. Even with the busy schedule of Halloween, take the time to eat a healthy meal.
Participate in Candy Donation
Don’t let excess candy linger in your house. Instead, give it to a good cause. Several charities accept candy to send to deployed troops, hospitalized children, or food shelters. You can feel good about participating in trick-or-treating fun without the guilt of throwing away or eating candy.
Another way to help your family eat less Halloween candy is by swapping the candy for an alternative. Trade the candy for a new toy or book that your child can enjoy for longer without feeling disappointed over the loss of the candy.
Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!
The Atlanta Smiles team wishes you a safe and fun Halloween! After getting all that Halloween Candy think about your oral health! Contact us to schedule an appointment for dental care.