Halloween Candy Buyback Program encourages good dental health for kids

October 9, 2012

The negative effects to teeth following trick-or-treating on Halloween will be lessened again this year thanks to dentists from across the nation who are participating in the ninth annual Halloween Candy Buyback program.

The negative effects to teeth following trick-or-treating on Halloween will be lessened again this year thanks to dentists from across the nation who are participating in the ninth annual Halloween Candy Buyback program.

Starting Nov. 1, children who bring unopened candy to their participating dentist’s office will receive a prize or, in some cases, $1 per pound.

Dr. Chris Kammer of Lifetime Family Dentist in Middleton, Wisc. has taken part in the program for seven years.

“The event puts dentistry in a positive light,” he said. “It’s the best professional response to Halloween.”

The candy that is turned in to dentists is sent to troops serving overseas through Operation Gratitude, a non-profit group that sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and individually addressed personal letters of appreciation to soldiers overseas.

“The kids understand that we are sending the candy to the troops,” Kammer said. “This gives them a chance to do a good deed for those who are putting their lives on the line for our country.”

He said the children often write supportive notes to go with the candy.

Kammer said his staff enjoys the event and even dresses up in costume to make it fun.

“We have a toothfairy handing out toothbrushes and Mr. Tooth awards the kids with restaurant meal coupons,” he said.

The buyback also is an educational opportunity.

“It gives us a chance to educate the families about candy sweetened 100 percent with xylitol and to hand out samples,” Kammer said.

The toothbrushes that Kammer gives to children are Firefly flashing toothbrushes produced by Dr. Fresh. The brushes are provided at a cost of .81 per unit to participating dentists.

Kammer said the Halloween Candy Buyback program sends a healthy message to children.

“They’re encouraged to consume their candy in moderation,” he said. “An occasional treat is fine, but consuming a shopping bag full of candy is completely unnecessary for multiple reasons. Now dental teams are providing another option.”