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Don’t get any scary cavities.

Michelle VanCleave
by Michelle VanCleave10/31/2019 10:26 a.m.
Updated: 10/31/2019

Nothing screams “Halloween” like kids moving door-to-door dressed like a princess, zombie or superhero in a quest for candy. It’s a fun holiday, and there’s nothing scary about kids eating candy sometimes!

But during this month of harvest festivities, kids often consume a monstrous amount of sugar. On average, kids consume about 3 cups of sugar on Halloween. That’s about 16 times the recommended daily sugar intake! 

A group of children wearing Halloween costumes and carrying trick-or-treat baskets.In line with the sugariest holiday, October is National Dental Hygiene Month. Oral health is key to good overall health and quality of life. Fifty-one percent of Pierce County third graders have had at least one cavity. And tooth decay is the most common preventable chronic childhood disease. 

Don’t get spooked! Lift your spirits and take these steps to have a boo-tiful smile.

No trick: Oral health is a key to good health and quality of life. It improves overall health for infants, children, adults and families. Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay, pain, infection and tooth loss. It can also cause:

  • Diabetes.
  • Heart disease.
  • Poor birth outcomes.
  • Obesity.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Absences from work and school.

While the Halloween level of sugar intake shouldn’t spook you every now and then, children—and adults—need a well-balanced diet that generally falls below the recommended dietary allowance of sugar intake. Eating whole foods, vegetables and natural sources of sugar, like fruit, is good for teeth—and good for overall health.

Have a fang-tastic Halloween and remember: Don’t get any scary cavities!

Michelle VanCleave

by Michelle VanCleave

Michelle shares public health stories about strong families and communities.


We invite your comments but will delete those with profanity, personal attacks, derogatory statements, ads or promotional material. Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department does not provide personal medical advice; please contact your health care provider.