With Halloween right around the corner, kids are picking out their favorite costumes, porches are decorated with jack-o-lanterns, and grocery stores are lined with sweet treats to celebrate. But, let’s not forget about the damage too much candy can have on our teeth. Halloween presents a great opportunity to remind your family about the importance of keeping up good oral hygiene, especially to prevent cavities. Walgreens has five tips to keep good oral health during this Halloween season:

1. Rinse your mouth after eating candy. Rinsing your mouth with water can remove sugar residue. Brushing your teeth after eating candy is also a good idea.

2. Eat your candy with meals. Saliva is produced during mealtime, thereby reducing the amount of sugar that remains on your teeth.

3. Some candies are more harmful than others. The worse candies for dental health are sour ones, which contain acids; chewy ones that stick on your teeth for a long time; and hard candies, which stay in contact with your teeth for a long periods of time and might even chip or break a tooth.

4. Eat a balanced, nutritious diet. Binging on candy might disrupt normal, healthy eating habits. It’s important especially for children to eat balanced meals.

5. Schedule a checkup with your dentist. This is a good time of year to schedule a dental checkup and cleaning.

Promoting good oral hygiene habits will have lasting effects on the kids’ overall health and future success in school and employment. Instead of handing out candy at your house, maybe give the trick-or-treaters a healthier snack or even a toothbrush. We’re all tempted to eat our favorite candies on Halloween.

Happy Halloween!