Candy to Cavity?

Every year, kids wear costumes and go door to door saying “trick-or-treat” with empty bags and pillowcases outstretched. Piece by piece, those bags fill up to the very top with chocolate, taffy and other sugary sweets. Maybe the occasional box of raisins from the house everyone avoids.

This tradition creates many childhood memories but can also fill teeth with cavities. In the spirit of Halloween traditions, some dentist have created one of their own. This is known as a candy buy-back.

Instead of letting that extra candy sit in your cabinet for months at a time, or even worse, have that sugar sit on your teeth, dentistries offer to buy it back from children for a good cause. In general, about one pound of candy equals $1 back to a child. Depending on where you go, they might have a limit for how much kids can earn.

Don’t worry, these sweets are put to good use. Instead of throwing out pounds of candy, dentistries will donate them to troops overseas. It is like sending a little bit of our Halloween traditions back to them when they are so far from home. This transaction teaches children valuable lessons about charitable contributions, transactions and making money.

It just takes a quick Google search to find out if any of your local dentistries participate in this new Halloween tradition. In State College, Pediatric Dental Care and Happy Valley Orthodontics are hosting their ninth annual candy buy back but this year they are doing things a little differently.

According to their Facebook event, “Children can still sell back their unwanted candy to us for $1/pound with a maximum of five pounds per child. A lot of the candy will be shipped to our deserving troops abroad via A Soldier’s Hands, but this year, we’ll also be keeping some of it to distribute to our local heroes as well! We will also be collecting URGENTLY NEEDED ITEMS, needed by the State College food bank and other community homes in an effort to strengthen our at-home community as well. Every participating child receives a gift bag, and there will also be several opportunities to win prizes.”

On Nov. 1 and 2, you can bring your family to PDC for some fun events that support our troops. On Thursday events run from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and on Friday the hours are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. You can also bring candy and items for the food bank to Happy Valley Orthodontics during normal business hours Nov. 5-9.

So even if you are too old to trick-or-treat, you are never too old to give back to your community. Stop by to donate or just offer some support in this charitable event — all children under 16 qualify.


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