Going Teal on Halloween Reduces Cavities and Food Allergies

Posted Oct 2021

By Delta Dental of Arkansas

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Going Teal on Halloween Reduces Cavities and Food Allergies

Non-edible treats benefit oral and overall health

LITTLE ROCK, AR—The spooky season with all the cavity-causing candy is pure horror for teeth. But here is a solution that will please all Halloween goblins and ghouls yet keep tooth decay at bay: Go teal.

Delta Dental of Arkansas is encouraging Arkansans to expand the message of the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween as a means to reduce the risk of cavities and gum disease.

“Originally, a teal pumpkin signaled a food-allergy friendly home where trick-or-treaters would receive non-edible treats,” Dave Hawsey, VP of Marketing at Delta Dental, explains. “But any non-food alternative to sugary candy benefits teeth and gums. So we were inspired to magnify the concept to include good oral health.”

The Teal Pumpkin Project was created in 2014 by Food Allergy Research & Education (foodallergy.org) to promote the inclusion of trick-or-treaters with food allergies. Project participants place a teal-painted pumpkin on their doorstep and hand out small toys, stickers, craft supplies and the like instead of the typical chocolates and lollipops. Teal, a bluish-green hue, is the color associated with food allergy awareness.

Going teal is easy and inexpensive. Teal-colored plastic buckets or pumpkins are available at major retailers or online. Or DIYs may prefer to apply spray or craft paint to the conventional orange jack-o-lanterns. Suggested non-edible treats include:

  • Markers or colored pens and Halloween coloring sheets, available at https://deltadentalar.com/tealhalloween
  • Halloween-themed plastic jewelry and hair accessories
  • Miniature toys and figurines
  • Active toys like bouncy balls and yo-yos
  • Stickers
  • Art and craft kits
  • Noisemakers
  • Finger puppets.

These and other low-cost items can be found at dollar stores and party supply retailers.

Sugar, one of the main ingredients of popular candy and sweets, increases the risk of tooth decay (cavities). Tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. It is five times more common than asthma and is the number-one reason why students miss school. 


About Delta Dental of Arkansas

Delta Dental of Arkansas is the largest dental benefits provider in the state, helping more than 800,000 Arkansans keep their smiles healthy through commercial and Medicaid coverage. As a not-for-profit company, Delta Dental is committed to improving the oral health of Arkansans through the philanthropic efforts of its Foundation, which donated more than $3 million to support oral health education initiatives in the last three years. For more information, visit www.deltadentalar.com/.


Media Contact:
Dave Hawsey
Vice President, Marketing
(c) 501-813-2315

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