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Oral Health Buzz

Healthy Halloween Treats Satisfy Kids and Dentists Alike

Deirdre Mundy

You care about the dental health of children in your neighborhood, but you do not want to be a joyless Halloween witch who dispenses only toothbrushes and floss. There is no need to scream; there are plenty of healthy Halloween treats that will satisfy hungry children without increasing their chances of developing dental health problems. Move beyond candy, and you can keep cavities from haunting your local trick-or-treaters.

Check the Fruit and Veggie Aisles

The days are gone when a fresh, crispy apple made a good trick-or-treat treasure. Fears of poison and razor blades mean most parents put apples right in the trash. However, the boom in healthy school lunches means many grocery stores sell fruit and vegetables in individually wrapped snack packs. Check your produce aisle for treat-sized bags of baby carrots and apple slices. These crunchy treats encourage dental health and will be a novelty in a bag of syrupy sweet candies.

Dairy is Divine

The dairy aisle is another excellent source of healthy Halloween treats that go easy on the teeth. Individual tubes of yogurt provide a burst of flavor and plenty of important nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. Cheese sticks will ease your conscious and fortify hungry ghosts and goblins as they haul their bags of candy around the neighborhood. Some companies even sell drink boxes full of organic chocolate milk that does not need a refrigerator. Talk about an excellent way to quench a young vampire's thirst!

Xylitol Works Like Magic

Xylitol candy is a great way to promote dental health without offending the sensibilities of neighboring fairies and princesses. According to the US Department of Heath and Human Services, xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener, helps to prevent cavities. Today, several companies sell xylitol chewing gum, sugar-free hard candies, lollipops and even caramels. These treats taste great but do not harm teeth, so you do not have to feel as though you are casting a cavity curse when you pass them out.

Halloween is a great time to promote oral health in your community. With a sack full of healthy Halloween treats, you can help children in your community develop healthy habits while still enjoying the spirit of the holiday. Get creative and hit the grocery store to stock up on tooth-friendly goodies today.

Learn more about healthy teeth at Halloween in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Flickr/Greger Ravik

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