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Your Kid's Sitting on a Mountain of Halloween Candy, Now What?

Delta Dental dentist survey reveals tips for parents following productive trick-or-treating


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OAK BROOK, Ill. (Nov. 1, 2011) - Responses to Delta Dental's 2011 Tricky Treats survey of more than 250 dentists contained good advice for parents on how to limit potential post-Halloween oral health horrors.1

Candy and other sugary sweets mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on teeth to produce acid, which can wear away enamel and cause tooth decay. Chewy treats and hard candy are particularly damaging because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth and are more difficult for teeth to break down.

Delta Dental's 2011 Tricky Treats survey revealed that some dentists actually view Halloween as a good opportunity to educate parents and children about these facts and teach them about the importance of sound oral health habits. "With proper portion control followed by good oral hygiene, Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children to enjoy and learn more about the importance of a healthy smile," said Dr. Ryan Murphy of Louisville, Colo.1

"Monitor the amount of candy your children eat," said Dr. Michael Johnson, a dentist from Plymouth, Minn. "Make sure they drink plenty of water afterward along with brushing and flossing."1

Other dentists reported resorting to creative charitable measures to protect their patients from themselves. "Our office buys candy from our kids for $1 per pound after Halloween," said Dr. Ralph Parkin, a Colorado-Springs based dentist. "The candy then is sent to Operation Gratitude for our overseas soldiers."1

But candy is not the only culprit. Children should try to avoid other sugary snacks like soda, caramels, candy apples and sticky popcorn balls that expose the teeth to sugar for long periods of time.

Besides basic oral health habits like brushing twice daily and flossing, Delta Dental also recommends getting regular dental check-ups.

For more dentist tips on how to keep kids' teeth healthy during and after the Halloween season, visit

To see a video on this topic, please click here.

About Delta Dental Plans Association
The not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), based in Oak Brook, Ill., is the leading national network of independent dental service corporations specializing in providing dental benefits programs to more than 56 million Americans in more than 95,000 employee groups throughout the country. For more news and information about DDPA, please visit and follow us on Twitter (@DeltaDental).


1 Delta Dental conducted the 2011 Tricky Treats Halloween survey. Delta Dental network dentists were invited via e-mail to participate in the web-based survey. For results based on the total sample of 253, the margin of error is +-6.15 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.