Little girls and their mothers inspect Halloween candy

Many of us, but our children especially, love Halloween. It tends to be a low-stress holiday with little build-up, feasts, or visiting relatives. The only real thing most of us have to worry about is getting costumes together, which is often part of the fun. Our children love the chance to dress as their favorite characters, too.

What else does Halloween allow? That’s right. Piles of candy. What should be an occasional treat that Nana sneaks by the parents can quickly become a colossal cavity bananza.

What can we do as parents to delay a possible dental disaster?

A Dentist’s Flossify on Halloween Candy and What Candy to Avoid


  • Hard Candies – These can result in our children biting off more than they can chew. Candy like Jolly Ranchers and Jawbreakers not only break the occasional tooth (uncommon) but can pretty easily damage work that has been done on teeth (quite common). Fillings, crowns, and braces can all take a beating when an eager child bites into a hard candy, and it will likely be painful when it happens.
  • Sticky Candies – Many parents will sympathize with me on this one, as sticky treats can end up in hair and stuck to just about anything. “Anything”, in this case, includes teeth. Similar to our situation with hard candies, sticky stuff can damage previous dental work and be an absolute monster to any of your child’s orthodontic work. Think of sugary morsels such as Tootsie Rolls and Milk Duds; they aren’t sticky like tape, but they do act like mortar when chewed.
  • Sour Candies – Pretty much all candy is a problem for teeth on some level due to the sugar content, but sour candies take it one step further. Sour treats are almost as bad as battery acid, eating away at the enamel of children’s newly-grown teeth.

Get Cash for Candy

Inevitably, your child will return victorious from their trick-or-treating spree with bulging bags of candy, much of it a part of the aforementioned ones to avoid. What are you to do with this excess? Sell it to us!

As dentists, we are passionate enough about our cause to put our money where our mouth is. To that end, we are offering $1 per pound of unopened Halloween candy, during the annual Dr. Duffy’s Candy Buy Back operation.

There is no cap on how much candy you can bring in. In fact, the more candy you bring in, the better, and a prize will even go to the person who tips the scale with the most candy sold back this year.

We are aiming to not only beat last year’s total of 700 pounds, but we want to set a record-breaking 1400 pounds for this year!

To participate, visit our office during the week days following Halloween — Nov. 2nd – 6th with your candy…that’s it! We are also collecting food donations for the Austin Street Shelter, so we ask that a canned food item also be brought in for each child, although this isn’t required.

Costume Ideas From an Orally-Fixated Dentist

We might be grown-ups, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little bit of fun during the season. Our patients visiting on Thursday and Friday (Oct. 29th and 30th) will be lucky enough to see our staff dressed as witches, and our young patients will get a treat if they dress up too!

We will have face painting and other memorable events to make it a Halloween your children won’t forget. At a loss for costume ideas? We have you covered!

  1. Tooth Fairy and a Loose Tooth – Our favorite has been a creative dad who went as the tooth fairy, with a scruffy face to compliment his toddler dressed as a tooth
  2. Dentist (of course!)
  3. Focus on fake teeth – Including vampires or zombies with some sweet “grillz”
  4. Toothbrush/toothpaste – This is a great homemade challenge that can also help teach your little ones about the importance of proper dental care
  5. Dental Crown – There is so much potential for a dental themed pun here

We would love to see your smile-related costumes, so even if you can’t make it into our office,  tag us on Twitter @DrDuffy or share on our Facebook . We would love to see what creative costumes you come up with this year!

A Healthy Mouth is a Happy Mouth!

~Dr. Duffy


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