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Trick or Treat or Something Else That’s Neat?

October is prime time for all kinds of sweet treats, from prizes at fall fairs to Halloween loot. But health-conscious parents, you don’t have to fill your neighborhood trick-or-treaters’ pumpkins and pales with teeth-rotting sugar. Instead, consider a slew of dentist-approved alternatives to traditional candy treats, ones that are just as fun and a lot better for those precious smiles. Remember, preventive dentistry starts with excellent dental hygiene and a healthy diet, so don’t let Halloween derail your progress towards great oral health. Instead, offer your kids and any other treat-seekers some great prizes that won’t cause any spooky consequences.

What Can You Give Besides Candy?

There is no rule that requires Halloween treats be candy. They don’t even have to be edible. In fact, there are a lot of alternatives that can elicit just as big of smiles from your little guests, without wreaking havoc on their fragile teeth.

Here are some pediatric dentist-approved options for filling those pumpkin pails this fall:

  • Stickers or temporary tattoos, the more colorful and sparkly the better!
  • Small toys, puzzles or games. Just try to pick ones appropriate for a wide age range.
  • Spooky gifts like spider rings and plastic vampire fangs.
  • Novelty school or art supplies, like tiny packs of crayons, cartoon-clad erasers or pencils.
  • Check the dollar section of your favorite retail, or designated dollar stores for affordable candy alternatives.
  • If you decide to give out something food-related, consider no-sugar added fruit snacks or dried fruit like raisins, are more nutritional than candy and less likely to cause cavities. Crackers or applesauce (without added sugar) would also be good treats. Finally, bottled waters or low-sugar fruit juices would also be welcome additions to all that Halloween loot.