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Dentists Say Let Kids Gorge on Halloween Candy

After a slew of Halloween parties and a night of trick-or-treating, your kids probably came home loaded down with a pillowcase full of candy. Now what? According to dentists, you should probably just let the kiddies have at it. Large quantities of candy consumed at once is likely better than eating a little bit over time.

Plus: Study: Eating Candy May Prevent Childhood Obesity

No parent wants to hear anything that sounds like license for a candy corn binge. Still, dentists say that a big one-shot candy fix means plenty of sugar and other carbohydrates to feed oral bacteria, which then produce damaging acid that can cause cavities. Give it some time, though, and saliva will neutralize the acid. Besides, people are more likely to brush after eating lots of candy at once. But, pack a few pieces of Halloween candy in your kid’s lunchbox every day, or dole it out piece by piece over the course of an afternoon, and you could have a nasty situation on your hands; your kid’s teeth will be exposed repeatedly to that same harmful acid, making it harder for saliva to fight.

 Plus: What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

 Be warned: candy’s not the worst thing that can happen to kids’ teeth. Dentists warn that the chips and fruit snacks parents like to swap for the sweet stuff can lead to cavities, too. These munchies stick to teeth, giving bacteria plenty of time to feast and acid plenty of time to sit.

How do you deal with your kid’s sweet tooth? What’s your post-Halloween candy rationing plan?