Children’s Dental Health

A Dentist Approved Halloween Tip That’ll Make You the Most Popular House on the Block

This is my favorite tip from a reader for what to hand out to trick-or-treaters. It's refreshing, delicious, healthy, and protects the teeth during all that candy consumption!

by Dr. Burhenne

halloween tip dentist

Yes, I used to be “that guy” who gave away toothbrushes to trick or treaters Halloween night. (Don’t worry, I’ve since stopped, thanks to the begging and pleading of my three daughters.) But each year, I’m trying to find a new way to keep with the Halloween spirit while still keeping to my values.

I’ve tried giving away dark chocolate, apples, and toothbrushes, all with varying degrees of success.

Dark chocolate is still an great giveaway for trick-or-treaters, which I not only approve but also recommend for chocolate’s properties that make it a superfood for teeth. I stopped giving away toothbrushes decades ago after we realized that brushing your teeth after eating candy can actually do more harm than good by wearing away enamel.

I’ve had some success with the Great Pumpkin, but this new idea is brilliant and I can’t wait to try it this year.

This year, reader Jennifer alerted me to a new idea for what to give trick-or-treaters on our Facebook Page and I can’t wait to try out this Halloween. It might seem basic at first, but it’s actually brilliant.

Go to a discount warehouse like Costco or Sam’s Club and get a flat of water bottles.

Chill them and then hand those out to the trick or treaters that come to your house!

Why is this brilliant?

Even though she thought it might be seen as a “party pooper” move, Jennifer was surprised to find that her house was quite popular after handing out those bottles!

Turns out, trick-or-treaters and parents alike are all craving a chilled bottle of water after all that candy and all that walking.

I think I can explain why.

Think of this: when you eat a chocolate chip cookie, what do you crave?

A glass of milk!

Maybe that’s the body’s way of telling us that it’s craving something to buffer the acids in the mouth.

What Happens to Your Teeth Halloween Night

As soon as you consume candy, your teeth are under attack from acid. That’s because the bacteria in your mouth love the simple sugars in candy.

Just like any organism, once bacteria have had their feast, they “go to the bathroom” in your mouth afterwards — by excreting their waste product, which is acid. Yup, you can blame tooth decay and bad breath on bacteria literally “pooping” in your mouth! I use that word to impress my pediatric patients and I encourage you to explain it to your children like this as well! The story really sticks.

How to Buffer the Acid Attack

The acid attack is inevitable, but drinking water throughout Halloween night will act to buffer that acid’s acidity and damage to the teeth.

I really can’t think of a better way to enjoy your candy this Halloween than to buffer it all night long with a neutral or alkaline water!

So this Halloween, thanks to Jennifer, I would recommend handing out those small bottles of water. I think you might even be the most popular house on the block if you try this!

Mark Burhenne DDS

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Dr. Mark Burhenne DDS

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  1. Thanks for the tips! My kids love eating treats with their friends after Halloween. There’s usually a lot of leftover candy that my kids always find a way to get to. I don’t want them munching on them so that they’ll have healthy teeth. Giving away dark chocolate seems like a great way to allow my kids to have an extra Halloween treat without feeling like I have to hide the candy bowl. Dark chocolate doesn’t have a lot of sugar, so I feel like I can give my kids a bit of leftover Halloween dark chocolate without fearing that they’ll rot their teeth.

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