Why This Dentist Gives Out Halloween Candy

Why This Dentist Gives Out Halloween Candy

Dentists and Halloween Candy
©Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

While watching baseball’s American League Championship Series last week, I saw a commercial for Verizon that shows a family out trick-or-treating.

Upon looking at his cell phone, the son says, “Wait guys, we’ve gotta stay away from 32 Elm Street. he’s a dentist… He’s givin’ out floss!”

The dad responds with one word that sums up this crazy behavior: “Weirdo!”

You can view the commercial below, then scroll down to find out why I will continue to give out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters who knock on my door.

Three Reasons Why Dentists Shouldn’t Give Out Floss for Halloween

Here’s three reasons why dentists shouldn’t be giving out toothbrushes, floss, and other oral hygiene paraphernalia to unsuspecting trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

1 – An Occasional Treat Is Good

Halloween is just once per year.  It’s not like kids are out collecting mass quantities of candy every day!  While it’s true that regularly eating candy and other sugary foods will take its toll on your teeth, the occasional splurge won’t ruin your teeth.  If you are a parent, just remind your kids to brush, floss, and rinse when they are done enjoying their loot.

One of the four things cavities need to grow is time.  If you only occasionally splurge on candy, your chances of getting a cavity from consuming it are slim.

2 – Teeth Are for Chewing

You have teeth to enjoy them.  Having teeth and not enjoying the occasional treat is like having a nice car that never leaves the garage.

Hopefully you are making a consistent effort to take care of your teeth so that they can last you for years to come — so reward yourself now and then!

Read Can Kids Eat Halloween Candy and Have Healthy Teeth? to learn how to have healthy teeth while enjoying Halloween treats.

3 – The Purpose of Halloween Isn’t to Change Behavior

There’s a time and place for everything. Is a child really going to start flossing after they receive floss in their bag of Halloween candy?  They probably won’t change their habits overnight from that simple gesture.  Finding floss among their treats might even lessen their enjoyment of the rest of their candy because it will make them feel guilty for eating so much sugar.

People have their reasons for doing what they do, and there are more appropriate ways — and times — to teach people the importance of oral hygiene.

Enjoy Your Halloween Candy

I’m sure there are plenty of dentists that will be busy handing out floss this Halloween.   Maybe they have noble intentions, but unless they’re careful they could be labeled Halloween’s version of Scrooge.

Me?  I’ll be busy giving out miles of Fruit by the Foot.


  1. Wow, nice to hear from a balanced human and DDS. Yeah, it’s the daily habits. Occasional treats aren’t the issue. I like you Doc!

    As my EE hubby says “to be effective, one must be selective”.

    Selective sugar and carbs periodically is ok, but the daily addiction isn’t.

  2. It’s good to know that an occasional treat isn’t bad for teeth. Since my wife and I are still relatively new parents, we were a little worried about letting our young son out for trick-or-treating. However, although your tips are simple, they make a lot of sense. We’ll definitely let him go out for some candy.

  3. They presumably won’t change their propensities overnight from that straightforward signal. Discovering floss among their treats may even diminish their happiness regarding whatever is left of their sweet since it will make them feel remorseful for eating so much sugar.

  4. Despite the way that you are awe inspiring and continuing, it is an unrecognizable test to consider diverse papers of a marvelous quality in a brief time of time.

  5. I am totally showing this to my wife.

    And to all you dentists out there… Just FYI… I already have a toothbrush for my kids. I will never object to a free spare but I’m totally OK with you keeping it fun.

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