Dentistry’s candy buy back soothes stuff of nightmares

To people like me, and dentists nationwide, getting a cavity is the stuff of nightmares. On Nov. 3, Pediatric Dental Care and Happy Valley Orthodontics will hold its fifth annual Great Halloween Candy Buy Back.

October is a peak month for candy consumption, but it also happens to be National Orthodontic Month.

A fine time to pick a fight against tooth rot.

“About seven years ago, (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry member) Dr. Chris Cramer made it a national thing for dentists,” Emily Janoscrat, dental hygienist at Happy Valley Orthodontics, said. “As a dentist, he has seen the effects of cavities.”

Children in the Centre Region are invited to sell their Halloween bounty to the dentistry. It then will send the sweets to Operation Gratitude, which delivers care packages to U.S. service members deployed overseas.

Most kids seem to get over the idea of giving away a hard-night’s earn, Janoscrat said.

“We’ve had reluctant children, but we have some who come back year after year. For some, now it’s a goal: ‘How can I get more money?’ That may just mean they trick or treat more,” she said. “We also have cards and paper that kids can sign and draw pictures to send off with the candy.”

“Last year, we got 450 pounds of candy,” she added.

Everyone’s teeth are susceptible to cavities, but developing teeth are more vulnerable.

“With soldiers, they already know how to take care of their teeth,” Janoscrat said. “When they are overseas, the candy helps to bridge gaps and gives them a little treat from home. Candy gives them that warm fuzzy feeling from home.”

The facility will pay $1 per pound of candy, and kids will get a goodie bag and chance to win prizes.