Trick or Treat?: Syracuse Dentist Gives Out Toothbrushes on Halloween Trick or Treat?: Dentist Gives Out Toothbrushes on Halloween

He has given out at least 300 toothbrushes on Halloween each year for 25 years

Don’t be tricked into thinking otherwise. Halloween is all about the treats.

When asking kids who were dressed up as sports fans, superheroes, magic creatures and various other costumes whether they liked candy or not, every one of them said yes.

But the fun can go away all too quickly if that sweet tooth gets a cavity.

When eating sticky, gummy candies and when eating a lot of candy in one sitting, “what happens is the sugar tends to stay on the teeth, and as it stays on there, the sugar and the bacteria break down the enamel to make a cavity,” said Gerald Danaher, a dentist working in Syracuse in an office named for him.

That’s why  Danaher is mixing things up. As trick-or-treaters stop by his home, he gives out custom-made, orange and black, “Happy Halloween” toothbrushes.

“Giving out the tooth brushes, I always say ‘make sure you brush your teeth, twice a day at least, and floss and go to the dentist,” Danaher said. “Some people listen to me and some people don’t. … I always kid around with them. I say ‘remember, don’t eat any of your candy.’ They all look at me like I’m out of my mind,” he said, laughing.

Some trick-or-treaters got excited when they were handed their unique gift.

“Toothbrushes! Yes! I seriously needed a new toothbrush,” a group of seven teenage girls dressed in different colors as the seven dwarfs said when approaching Danaher as he sat on a foldable lawn chair in his garage, dressed as Frankenstein.

Moments later, another girl walked away from Danaher’s driveway. “Are you kidding me?” she said. “Where is the candy?”

“Some get a kick out of it. Some throw them at me. Some throw them on the lawn. They do that, I just, I,” Danaher said, pausing and shrugging.

Hand out those toothbrushes. [I] haven’t gotten hit with an egg yet, so,” Danaher said while treating a patient in his dental office earlier in the day.

For those who do appreciate and use the toothbrushes, brushing and flossing of teeth after eating candy will help prevent cavities, Danaher said.

So, whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart, “stick with the chocolate, avoid the real sticky things and brush and floss after you eat them,” Danaher said.

That way, the costumes roaming the Syracuse streets for sweets—not cavities—can be the scariest things on Halloween.

Reported by
David Zachary Edelstein

David Zachary Edelstein

David is a passionate sports and news broadcaster and writer. He is also an FAA Part 107 licensed unmanned aircraft pilot. He is an Isshin-Ryu karate first-degree black belt, badminton player and community service volunteer. Follow David on Twitter: @DavidZEdelstein

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