Halloween can be a seriously spooky holiday for moms and dads trying to teach their children how to live happy—but healthy—lives. Allowing your little superheroes, princesses and goblins some freedom, while instilling good habits, can feel incredibly overwhelming.

Have no fear! If you follow the simple tips below, you’ll help your kids experience all of the excitement of Halloween and encourage mouth-healthy behaviors that will last a lifetime.

SWEET TIPS

Be selective. Not all Halloween treats are created equal. Sticky and hard candy can be very difficult to clean off teeth; whereas, chocolates tend to melt.

Out of sight, out of mind. Find a safe place to store extra candy where your children cannot easily get to it.

Set a specific time to enjoy treats. Continually grazing on candy may quickly lead to problems. It’s much better for teeth if your kids enjoy a single, supervised treat and then are done.

Eat a healthy meal first. Fill your children up on great nutrition that fuels strong growing bodies BEFORE you offer them candy.

Provide A LOT of water. Water helps keep the mouth clean and balances the negative effects of sugars and acids found in treats.

AWESOME ALTERNATIVES TO CANDY

Sugar free gum. Hand out packs of sugar free gum that contain Xylitol, which has been proven to help slow down and even stop the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.

Fake teeth. Kids love extra costume accessories, and what could be more fun than plastic vampire teeth?

Glow sticks. Since most children trick-or-treat once the sun sets, glow sticks can be a fun way to help them stand out in the crowd.

Temporary tattoos. Most kids can’t wait to show off a cool new tattoo to friends.

Party favors. Pick up some bouncy balls, yo-yos, or fake jewelry.

Stickers. Kids love to collect stickers and decorate with them. Why not hand out fun, Halloween-themed stickers for them to wear that night or save for a later date.