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Halloween is right around the corner, and what child doesn’t love dressing up and going door-to-door to stock up on Halloween candy?  Halloween treats can prove to be frightful to your little one’s teeth, so how can you help them enjoy Halloween and prevent tooth decay?

Five Alternatives to Handing Out Halloween Candy:

ONE: Halloween pencils and erasers.  These are great for kids and they’d enjoy them at school.

TWO: Halloween stickers.  Which child doesn’t love stickers?  These could keep them busy and will last longer than candy.

THREE: Halloween Tattoos.  Children can wear spooky spider-web tattoos on their arms and faces.  These are always a fun alternative!

FOUR: Noisemakers.  Fun, entertaining, and can be played with long after Halloween.  This is sure to make your house a popular destination! (Though, beware of the kids’ parents!)

FIVE: Halloween Bouncy balls.  Many stores sell these in interesting shapes and designs around Halloween, like a monster’s eyes, spiders, and many more!

Even if you don’t hand out Halloween candy, your child is bound to get some in their trick-or-treat bag.  The best thing to do is encourage your child to continue proper oral hygiene habits and brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time.  You can also control how much candy they are allowed to eat by portioning it out and encouraging them to donate the rest.  Or, you can do what actress Brooke Sheilds does–she lets her daughter pick out her 10 favorite pieces of candy and then the “Halloween Fairy” magically turns the rest of it into a toy!

Many dental offices offer Halloween Buy Back Programs, so contact your local dentist office and see if they offer similar incentive programs.  Additionally, Homeless shelters or Foster homes would be a great place to donate candy to.

Happy Halloween!!  Make sure your child still visits your dentist for regular cleanings and exams.  If you don’t have dental insurance, find a dentist offering special offers using DentistUSA.