Halloween 2020 under coronavirus threat will be unique. What your family and community do this holiday might differ greatly from the celebrations of former years. Trick or Treat traditions might not be the safest choices as COVID-19 continues to threaten us.
Halloween 2020 Makes All Dentists Cringe
Halloween always makes us cringe. As we said last year, Halloween is always the most frightening year for dentists. You see, the prime feature of Halloween is probably the candy and that’s one of the primary causes of tooth decay.
We know that in the eyes and hearts of children, “Candy-anticipation grows for the highly favored, candy-flavored children’s holiday…” As always, Doctor King and his staff cannot help but sympathize with parents since we see candy manufacturer’s campaigns hitting you fast and hard.
For the children’s sake, we hope to support you without destroying all the fun and magic of the holiday.
Halloween Treats and Dental Supplies?
As of Oct. 1, we began our traditional cringe. However, we won’t allow ourselves to become Halloween “Grinches.” No, dentists are not at all bitter or mean about this holiday, as we explain each year.
On the one hand, we know the children love stories, costumes, and party fun traditions. And we can support those.
But on the other hand, we know this fun holiday provokes a huge spike in kids’ dental issues. And that is why we cringe out of concern for children’s teeth.
Dental Horror Stories for the Halloween 2020 Season
Decay is not the only villain that comes around during this holiday. Please be mindful of the dental accidents that can happen.
1. We must remind parents to remember that the child should not have free access to the candy haul. It could cost far more in dentistry than the initial price of candy.
2. Did you know candy from Halloween fun can be the cause of cracked teeth, broken crowns, and of course, extensive cavities?
3. Likewise, poor visibility through masks or tripping on long hems can cause children to fall or run into things that cause facial and dental injuries.
Halloween 2020: Meet the Candy Monster
We know candy and its main ingredient, sugar is the real monster behind Halloween horrors. So, we advise you to strictly monitor the “candy haul” if your children attend parties or Trick or Treat events.
Of course, all the costumes and games are tremendous fun. However, we feel that, if we could at least control children’s sugar intake, Halloween would not be such a bad holiday.
Candy and Bitter-Sweet Statistics
Remember, every year the US spends nearly $9 billion on candy. In previous years, we have seen those dollars stick a lot of sugar on and in-between the teeth of 41 million trick-or-treating American children, ages 5 – 14.
All Candy Does Not Carry an Equal Threat of Dental Danger
However, did you know the AAPD has stated that not all treats cause the same amount of damage to teeth? You see, if we cannot stop the sugary dangers of Halloween, we at least can minimize them. It has become our tradition to warn you of the worst candies to offer your little ghosts and goblins.
The Halloween 2020 Sugar Bugs’ Hit List
Different types of candy cause various degrees of damage. Given a choice, and if you must stock some Halloween treats, why not choose treats that cause the least harm to our children’s teeth? So, here is our generic list of the worst offenders against children’s teeth:
- Avoid any really sticky candy.
- Do not choose colorful Gummy candy.
- And we should outlaw those enamel-busting Jaw Breakers.
What is the Worst Halloween Candy Treat for Teeth?
And now, we must nominate the worst annual dental offender of them all. We once again elect that famous chocolate bar, chocked full of peanut pieces and caramel drizzle. Read the description below and then guess the name of this popular bar?
- With 27 grams of sugar, it tops our list as the worst candy offender of this holiday or any other.
- The candy is packed with greasy chocolate. Children chip their teeth on the peanuts and the caramel layer clings to enamel with a vengeance.
- And don’t forget the clingy nougat will do its part to feed the sugar bugs of decay. It doesn’t take long to eat this bar of 266 calories full of dental problems. Furthermore, 37 percent of those calories are fat. (Are you snickering because you have figured out the name of this famous, and to dentists and their staffs, infamous, candy bar?)
As we reported last year, the AAPD states, “Think a fun-size bar won’t be too terrible? Think again: the tiny version of the treat still has 8.5 grams of sugar. Add in some tooth-cracking peanuts (specially designed to pop orthodontic brackets off of teeth!) and you’re bound to run into dental problems.”
The Newest, Most Terrifying Dental Facts of Halloween 2020
Giving us special shivers this year, the National Confectioners Association just reported that, as of September, Halloween chocolate and candy sales are up this year.
“For the latest four weeks ending September 6 versus the same period in 2019, total Halloween chocolate & candy sales are up 13%.” The growth of these sales is “driven by Halloween chocolate, which is up 25.3%.”
- They also reported that “66% of people say they will trick-or-treat this year, whether handing out the candy or going out with their children.”
- Likewise, 74% of millennial moms and young parents have stated that Halloween 2020 is more important than ever.
How to Keep Halloween 2020 Frightening but Safe
However, for dentists, the most dismaying facts of all were that “80% of the general public and 90% of millennial moms and young parents say they can’t imagine Halloween without chocolate and candy…”
And they added that that “trick-or-treating is irreplaceable.” As members of the healthcare profession, dentists are fearing more than dental dangers in Halloween 2020.
With all the above data in mind, Dentistry for Children must bring this blog back to where we began. As we said, dental decay is not the only thing to worry about in Halloween 2020. With COVID-19 waiting in the wings, is there a way to safely enjoy this holiday? We turned to an interesting online resource to inspire parents to be safe as well as creative in the spirit of Halloween 2020.
Six Ways to Safe Celebration
Here are a few tips to make the holiday celebration a little safer.
1. Keep your celebration out-of-doors. “This is not the year to buck tradition by holding large indoor events, including parties. After all, proper ventilation and airflow are rarely an issue when outside.”
2. Get creative and use the protective mask properly as part of the costume. “Work with your child to think of ways to integrate clever, while still protective, face coverings into their Halloween costume.”
3. Socially Distance: a small group of children could get together in costume as a special gathering, but outside. Have a parade, but maintain 6 feet of distance between each child.
Three More Ideas to Balance Safety and Creativity
4. Trick-or-Treating can be arranged as long as distancing is maintained, and individual treats are set up outside beforehand. (We even suggest that treats can be non-edible, like stickers and tiny toys.)
Even safer is an activity called “Trunk or Treating.” Usually, church groups sponsor this bit of fun. It provides an opportunity to
- Show off costumes.
- Decorate the back of cars.
- Go car to car trick or treating (if handled safely).
- Gives Mom and Pop the opportunity to socialize with other parents.
- Sponsors sometimes have bags of goodies that are put into your car trunk.
You can learn more about this activity by visiting this site.
5. Bring and use Hand Sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. Keep hands clean at all times.
6. This year, “it’s more important than ever that any treats you distribute or your child receives are packaged and not loose or open.”
We must add an important final note. Whether your family has a yard party, a gathering in your “bubble,” or a special movie night at home, if Halloween 2020 candy treats are involved, please remind your children to brush and floss before bedtime.
Thank you for reading our Halloween 2020 blog, and Be Safe!