Posted by: Eco-Dentistry Association | October 26, 2011

Green Your Halloween

This year, enjoy the festivities without the Halloween nightmares!

The colorful, cooling days of fall bring us a harvest of some of the Earth’s most colorful and health promoting fruits and vegetables.  However, you can bet your best crown that most children during this time of year aren’t thinking about fresh pears and succulent squash—instead, they’re salivating at the thought of the Halloween candy they will be gathering come October 31st.

As we know, Halloween can be a huge pitfall when it comes to oral and whole-body health, as the high sugar content and artificial ingredients of popular candy consumed during this spooky holiday are around every corner. Don’t let unsuspecting teeth fall victim to this Halloween nightmare! Instead, share these healthful and eco-friendly tips with your patients or your own children and help protect those pearly whites AND our planet!

  • Remind kids to brush as soon as possible after consuming candy: Sugar is an absolute breeding ground for bacteria in our mouths, and if left alone creates an acid leading to cavities and tooth decay. If brushing isn’t possible, encourage kids to swish with fresh water.
  • Read your labels: Make sure the ingredients in your Halloween treats don’t include things like High Fructose Corn Syrup or other artificial ingredients. Avoid candy made using palm oil, which not only promotes heart disease but also contributes to the destruction of rainforests and wildlife populations.
  • Choose healthier treats: Believe it or not, there are lesser evils when it comes to sweet treats! Encourage your patients to hang on to treats such as natural fruit leather or look for chocolate with higher cocoa content, both of which contain health-promoting antioxidants.
  • Participate in a candy buy-back program: Many offices choose to do a Halloween candy “buy-back” program, during which kids are encouraged to trade in their candy stash. Offer to swap candy for a green goody bag with healthier treats and eco-friendly toothbrushes like Preserve.
  • Compost: Many of Halloween’s edible traditions are compostable, including candy! Host a candy compost party and encourage kids to bring in their extra candy to be composted! Once you’ve unwrapped the mountain of sweets, you can make it even more fun by saving the wrappers and handing out “How-To” guides on making crafts out of candy wrappers! Don’t forget, you can also compost pumpkins, dried corn and gourds!

Don’t let this Halloween wreak havoc on our mouths or our planet! Find even more tips on how to Green Your Halloween in our Weekly Action Item newsletter, or check out Green Halloween, which provides comprehensive guides for dentists and parents on making Halloween an eek-o friendly event!

Are you going above and beyond these tips? Let us know at info@ecodentistry.org and we will share it on our site!

Happy Halloween!

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