Trick or Teeth?

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Tuesday, kids in costumes across Northeast Wisconsin will be out trick-or-treating and hoping to load up on candy.

Photo: U.S. Air Force

But as parents, how do you control all that sugary intake? When it comes to Halloween, the dentist office says statistics show many kids go to great lengths to satisfy their sweet tooth.

"On average, kids around Halloween time eat about 3 cups of sugar, which equals to about 200 packets of sugar, and in general kids will eat about 7,000 calories, which is equal to about 13 Big Macs," says Maggie Hall, a dental hygienist at Dental Associates. "So you definitely have to make sure you're watching what your kids are in-taking and not just letting them have free reins of the candy bowl."

Hall says parents can use a few tricks when it comes to their kids' treats.

"Frequency is more harmful than amount of sugar. Frequency of small amounts is more harmful that a large amount."

Which is why Hall says after the Halloween night sugar buzz, don't let your kids go hog wild.

"Everything is in moderation, so when you give your kids candy it's important to maybe give it to them around dinnertime or as dessert instead of throughout the whole day, letting them snack on it whenever they want, maybe use it as a treat, as a reward for something."

And when it comes different types of candy, Hall says anything that is long-lasting, like suckers, or really chewy and sugary, like taffy and caramels, are much worse than chocolate bars because those candies really increase the amount of Ph, or acid, in your mouth.

"When you have more acid in the mouth, the more acidic characteristics in the mouth, then our tooth is more susceptible to be decalcified, so that's why it's important to make sure you try to keep a basic level in your mouth. Use water, eat cheese and milk and dairy products and just try to keep the sugar amount in your mouth lower."

It's also recommended that children pay extra attention when brushing their teeth before bed after a night of trick-or-treating.

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