The Ontario Dental Association has the “tricks” to help kids enjoy their treats

October 27, 2009

Toronto, ON – It’s that time of year again when kids look forward to indulging in candy and sweets – and parents begin to fret about the damage all that sugar does to their children’s teeth. But the Ontario Dental Association (ODA) says that with a few simple oral health-care tips and practices, kids and parents alike can enjoy Halloween.

“We want children to have as much fun as possible on Halloween, including eating the candy they get from their trick-or-treating,” says ODA President Dr. Ira Kirshen. “Remember, tooth decay is not caused by sugar alone. It comes from not brushing or flossing regularly and letting food sit on teeth for long periods of time.”

During this period of increased sugar consumption, parents can mitigate the potential damaging effects of Halloween candy by incorporating healthy habits into your child’s everyday oral health-care routine.


  • Eating sweets is fine when done in moderation and for a short period of time, e.g. days, not weeks. Keep candy in a sealed container and establish times when your child can have a treat.
  • Give your child sweets just after mealtimes, as the amount of saliva produced at this time will help protect your child’s teeth.
  • Have your child brush their teeth twice a day and floss once a day, and again after eating sugary treats. If your child doesn’t have access to a toothbrush while away from home, give them sugarless gum to help get their saliva flowing.
  • Hard candy, such as lollipops, and sticky sweets, such as toffee, can be more damaging because they remain in the mouth for a longer time. Limit these treats to once a week or get your child to trade them in by offering them stickers.
  • Alternate some healthy snacks, such asvegetables, fruits, yogurts and cheeses, with Halloween treats.

“These kinds of healthy habits allow kids to have fun while providing peace-of-mind for parents,“ says Dr. Kirshen. “Following these tips at Halloween, and all year round, will help you and your family have good oral health for life.”

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For more information

Bonnie Dean
Public Affairs and Communications
Ontario Dental Association
416-922-3900, extension 3305
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