For some, Halloween can be the tip of the iceberg of unhealthy holiday eating. But having all that candy around doesn’t mean you need to ruin your teeth (or diet) with sugar. Here are a few options for keeping the cravings in control, and the sugar off your teeth, during this fall season.

1. Keep it quick. Choose candy options that can be eaten quickly and don’t stick to your teeth, minimizing the time sugar is stuck to them.

2. Limit the sours. Sour candy often contains acid to intensify the flavor, but that flavor comes at a price. Citric acid, for example, can contribute to dental erosion and cavities.

3. Keep the water close. As with all meals and snacks, drinking water while eating helps wash away the sugar and acid from your mouth, and makes you feel full faster so you don’t eat as much.

4. Keep it at dessert. Before taking children trick-or-treating, or allowing them to indulge in sweets, encourage eating a full meal. This way they won’t be craving as much, and the temptation to fill up on candy will be lower.

5. Halloween doesn’t have to mean candy. Just because the holiday typically revolves around trick-or-treating and fall festivals filled with unhealthy snacks doesn’t mean you have to ruin your teeth every time. Encourage non-candy and non-food treats like coloring books and small toys.

Source:, “Sugary, sticky Halloween treats can play tricks on children’s teeth