Several dental offices across the state will be exchanging prizes and payments for uneaten Halloween candy to send to U.S troops overseas
Dental offices across Connecticut will be sponsoring Halloween Candy Buy Back events this November to collect unopened candy that will be sent to U.S. troops overseas.
"In the past Connecticut’s dental health community has shown tremendous support for Operation Gratitude by hosting Halloween Candy Buy Back events all over the state. Every year the program grows as new practices join the cause,” said Dr. William Nash, President of the Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA). “Since its creation, this program has received a lot of support and we are thrilled to see it continue this November.”
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. Since the Halloween Candy Buy Back program began in 2005, over 130 tons of candy have been collected and shipped through Operation Gratitude.
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.
“Trick-or-treating is an essential part of Halloween fun and we fully support children collecting their favorite candy,” said Dr. Nash. “Halloween also presents parents with a perfect opportunity to show their children the value of giving back. Not only will children be digesting less sugar, they will also be rewarded in return for donating the treats they collect.”
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 www.csda.com/for-the-public/charitable-dental-outreach-calendar.
About Connecticut State Dental Association
The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) has approximately 2,670 members including dentists, dental hygienists and dental assistants. As the trusted leader and voice for oral health care in Connecticut, the CSDA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1864. For more information about the CSDA, visit the Association's Web site at www.csda.com.