The scariest thing about Halloween is not the vampires and ghosts, but rather the potential horrors that creep into your child’s hands and give your dentist nightmares. We’re talking about the stashes of sugar-infested, cavity-loving candy that leaves and enters your home each year on the night of October 31st.

Lucky for you, there is a solution! Avoid the sticky, teeth-coating candies with these 4 alternatives to pass out at your very own door this Halloween. 

Plain Chocolate

Are you surprised? Sure, chocolate is not typically the first choice for healthy teeth, but it is a good alternative to sticky candies. It may come as a shock, but chocolate can actually play a role in fighting tooth decay. The darker the chocolate, the better. That’s right, dark chocolate is not only a healthier option for sweet-tooths, but it is also healthier for your teeth. Cocoa beans contain multiple antioxidants that fight the bacteria that turns sugar into acids. 

Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing gum is a sticky subject when it comes to your teeth (no pun intended). While gum containing sugar might increase your chances of cavities, sugar-free gum actually does quite the opposite. How does this work? The action of chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva in your mouth, which neutralizes acids. Throwing some sugar-free gum into the mix of Halloween candy can help break down those acids and protect the enamel on your teeth.

Spooky Mandarin Oranges

Swap out the orange suckers this year for something sweeter: mandarin oranges. These small, easy-peel oranges are a great alternative to toss in a candy bag when passing out Halloween goodies. The peel acts as its own candy wrapper which protects the delicious, juicy fruit on the inside. To make them more festive, draw spooky pumpkin faces on the peels with a sharpie. 

Non-Edible Trinkets

A treat doesn’t just have to be something you eat; it can be any sort of fun surprise! Some of the best Halloween treats are the ones that last more than the 60 seconds it takes to consume a piece of candy. Some fun ideas include glow sticks, bubbles, spinning tops, vampire teeth, and mini play-doh. 

Save your dentist the heart-ache and your kids the tooth-aches this Halloween with these 4 alternatives. Chocolate, sugar-free gum, oranges, and small trinkets are great substitutes to keep your little goblins and ghouls smiling bright.