Several dental offices across the state will be exchanging prizes and payments for uneaten Halloween candy to send to U.S troops overseas.
Several dental offices across Connecticut will be sponsoring Halloween Candy Buy Back drives this November to collect unopened candy to send to U.S. troops overseas. Participants will receive $1 for every pound of candy they donate. Many participating dental offices will hand out raffle tickets for a variety of prizes. The bought back candy will then be donated to our troops serving overseas through Operation Gratitude.
"The CSDA is pleased to see so many dental offices hosting Halloween Candy Buy Back drives again this year, and to have new offices joining the effort. This program has been well received since its beginning and we are glad to see it continue this November across Connecticut,” said Dr. Jeffrey Berkley, President of the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA).
Operation Gratitude is a non-profit organization that collects and sends more than 150,000 care packages every year to individuals in the American military community, including active service members overseas and children of our troops. Over 130 tons of candy have been collected and shipped through Operation Gratitude since the Halloween Candy Buy Back program began in 2005.
These Halloween Candy Buy Back Programs not only teach children the virtue of giving back, but provide parents with the opportunity to teach their children to enjoy their favorite Halloween treats in moderation. The CSDA also encourages those who participate in handing out treats during Halloween to consider sugar-free options.
“We fully support children going trick-or-treating and collecting their favorite candies,” said Dr. Berkley. “We also encourage parents to use Halloween as a time to show their children the value of donating their candy as a token of gratitude. Not only will your children be ingesting less sugar, but they will be rewarded in return for contributing their prized Halloween loot.”
Candy is a common culprit for tooth decay, because its acidic and sugary content eats away at tooth enamel. Below are some tips parents’ should consider for children who go out trick-or-treating:
- Eat Halloween candy and other sugary foods with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
- Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Besides how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
- Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Drink more water. Drinking optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that are fluoridated.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won't do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
The candy care packages sent with Operation Gratitude will also include toothbrushes, so recipients can indulge in the sweets of the season while practicing proper dental hygiene.
For a list of upcoming Halloween Candy Buy Programs visit the CSDA Charitable Dental Outreach calendar at http://www.csda.com/for-the-public/charitable-dental-outreach-calendar.