Don’t be a “Candy Cop” when it comes to filling Easter baskets for your kids, says Dr. Meelin Dian Chin Kit-Wells, clinical assistant professor of pediatric and community dentistry at University at Buffalo Dental School.

“‘Candy equals cavities’ can be a distraction to parents,” she said. “While there is some truth to this, here are five things that you can do this coming holiday season” to bring smiles Easter morning – and for months to come.

1. Stick to dark chocolate: It may be more expensive than milk and other chocolates, but is less damaging to teeth – and dental bills.

2. Avoid the goo: Steer clear of caramel and gooey, sticky high-fructose corn syrup. It’s sugar velcro on baby teeth and grown-up teeth alike.

3. Add color: Consider using fresh fruit of different colors, or homemade trail mix. Sugar-free chewing gum also is an option.

4. Instill good habits: Include fun toothbrushes and different flavors of toothpaste and floss, and while your kids are home from school over the holidays, have them brush three times a day.

5. Fill plastic eggs with little fun toys and stickers.