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4 Fun Alternatives to Candy This Halloween

October is right around the corner! As children dream up the perfect costume for trick-or-treating, parents should be concerned about the effect all that candy will have on their kids’ teeth–and for good reason. Tooth decay is the number one untreated chronic disease among children, leading to toothaches, missed school, low self-esteem, and other health complications that can even be deadly!

Never fear–we’ve got your back with fun alternatives to sticky, sugar-laden treats that any kid would love to get this Halloween! So don your Tooth Fairy wings and hand out these fun surprises to the little ghouls and goblins in your neighborhood!


  1. A new toothbrush. Don’t worry–paired with more “tooth friendly” candy like chocolate or sugar-free gum, and some printable oral care tips, kids will be more excited to receive a new toothbrush than you might expect. Buy them by the case from Amazon or SmileMakers, or hold a Smile Drive collection before Halloween to help kids keep their teeth healthy for months to come!
  2. Low-sugar snacks. Kids will get plenty of the sweet stuff so mix it up with any of these yummy snacks:
    • bags of pretzels or crackers
    • string cheese
    • popcorn
    • apples
    squeezable fruit pouches
    sugar-free candy  
  3. Bottles of water. After a long night of hoofing it around the neighborhood, trick-or-treaters will appreciate something to drink. Find bottles with fun Halloween labels, or get creative and make your own with facts about tooth decay. Water is even better if it contains natural fluoride to help protect enamel from decay. Click here for a list of brands that contain fluoride.
  4. Other fun stuff. While the candy will be gone in a few days (or less) these low-cost alternatives will be fun for much longer!:
    • glow sticks (they also help kids stay visible once the sun goes down)
    • Halloween-themed stickers
    small bottles of bubbles
    • spooky accessories like vampire teeth or spider rings
    • small containers of Play-Doh
    • temporary tattoos
    Halloween wind-up toys, slinkies, balloons, bouncy balls or other small toys
    • school supplies like spooky pencils and erasers


Lastly, if you’re more concerned about how Halloween will look during the pandemic, check out 16 Fun Ways to Celebrate Quarantine-O-Ween or How to Safely Celebrate in your area.

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