How Much Candy Should Your Kid Eat On Halloween, According To A Pediatric Dentist

After a long night of trick-or-treating, your little monster has scored a pretty impressive amount of candy. And of course, you don’t want to be a witch and not let her have any, but you also don’t want her to eat too much and make herself sick, either. If you’re wondering how much candy your kid should eat on Halloween, you’re definitely not alone.

Kids can consume upwards of three cups of sugar eating Halloween candy, Business Insider reported. Since all of that sugar has to go somewhere (i.e. your child’s teeth), you’ll need to make sure that they stay healthy. So how much candy is too much? “Halloween is a great day,” says Dr. Jenny Federman, a pediatric dentist in Brookfield, CT. “I mean, who doesn’t like candy?”

Dr. Federman advises letting your kids enjoy themselves for their hard-earned treats, but in moderation. “You don’t want to deprive your kids but you shouldn’t give them too much, either,” says Dr. Federman. “It’s bad for your body and you don’t want them to get into the habit of wanting sugar everyday.” She advises to let your child have candy on Halloween and limit it to whatever you feel is good enough.

Here’s the thing, though. You want to make sure that your child brushes her teeth after all that candy consumption before bedtime. “You don’t want to tell your kid, ‘Oh, you’re tired; go to bed,’” she says. In that case, you’re going to have to get in there with a toothbrush and do the brushing for your kiddo. “You want to brush down to their toes and up to their nose, as well as the outside and inside of their teeth,” says Dr. Federman. “That way, you hit all the surfaces, because from the canine teeth back, they don’t come out until puberty.” But it doesn’t just stop at brushing—you’ll also need to floss your child’s teeth so that you get the entire tooth clean.

And as for the candy culprits that can cause cavities, well, you just might be surprised to learn that it’s not chocolate, but treats like pretzels and Goldfish. “Chocolate is good because your saliva will make it go away,” says Dr. Federman. “Things that stick into the teeth are bad, like pretzels or Goldfish. It sits on the teeth for hours which isn’t good.”

So it’s entirely up to you to determine how much candy to let your child have on Halloween. Just make sure to help him brush (and floss) his teeth so that all of sweet stuff doesn’t stay stuck on his teeth, cause a terrible tummy ache — or worse, make him wind up in a dentist’s chair with some creepy cavities.

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