Did you know Americans consumed 24.7 pounds of candy per capita in 2010?1 That’s a lot of sugar to potentially cause cavities if left on the teeth of boys and ghouls too long. After eating candy, Delta Dental recommends a thorough brushing of teeth (or at least a big drink of water).
Since Halloween is a favorite holiday of many Americans, Delta Dental has compiled a list of the 10 best terrifically terrifying truths:
1. Americans purchase nearly 600 million pounds of candy for Halloween each year.2
2. Major pumpkin-producing states like California, Illinois, New York and Ohio helped America grow 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins in 2010.3
3. Sixty percent of dentists polled for Delta Dental’s Tricky Treats survey said they give out candy on Halloween. Of the dentists who dispense candy, 79 percent choose chocolate, while just 13 percent hand out varieties like hard candy or lollipops. This confectionary choice is no accident. Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and can be eaten easily, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth.4
4. Americans spent nearly $6.9 billion on Halloween costumes, decorations and “entertainment”.2
5. About 50 percent of Americans decorated their homes or yards, 44 percent dressed in a costume, 34 percent attended a Halloween party and 23 percent visited a haunted house in 2011.2
6. In 2011, the three most popular costumes worn by children were Harry Potter, princess and Green Lantern. Classic characters like Winnie the Pooh, Elmo and the Smurfs were also among the top 10 favorites. Captain America, Green Lantern and Where’s Waldo were popular costume choices for adults.5
7. Nearly one out of four dentists said they do not hand out anything on Halloween, while five percent attack the holiday head on by handing out toothbrushes.4
8. Not everyone gives out candy on Halloween. Ideas include toothbrushes, pretzels, fruit (such as raisins), modeling clay and books.4
9. An estimated 41 million children between the ages of five and 14 went trick-or-treating across the U. S. in 2010.1
10. Candy corn, a popular treat commonly associated with Halloween, was created in the 1880s and popularized by farmers who appreciated its resemblance to kernels of corn. 6
To learn more about what dentists give out at Halloween and get their best advice for keeping kids’ teeth healthy, please visit http://www.trickytreats.org.
1 United State Census Bureau, 2010 Census. http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml. Accessed August 2012.
2 National Retail Federation. Consumers Eager to Have a Frightfully Good Time This Halloween, According to NRF. http://www.nrf.com/modules.php?name=News&op=viewlive&sp_id=1197. Accessed August 2012.
3 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/VegeSumm/VegeSumm-01-27-2011.pdf. Accessed August 2012.
4 Delta Dental conducted the 2011 Tricky Treats Halloween survey. Delta Dental network dentists were invited via e-mail to participate in the web-based survey. For results based on the total sample of 253, the margin of error is ±6.15 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.
5 Sortprice.com. Hollywood Blockbusters & Traditional Favorites Dominate SortPrice.com’s Annual Top 10 Halloween Costume Lists for 2011. http://www.sortprice.com/docs/Halloween-Popular-Costumes-for-2011. Accessed August 2012.
6 National Confectioners Association. Candy Corn. http://www.candyusa.com/FunStuff/CandyType.cfm?ItemNumber=1582. Accessed August 2012.