It’s just about that time. Soon, your children may be seated at the kitchen table dumping out Halloween candy and eyeing the Milk Duds and Tootsie Roll Pops, carefully selecting the best candies to keep and the best candies to trade with siblings and friends. Most parents — and nearly all family dentists — would like to cut kids’ Halloween candy stashes in half, and the struggle to get children to enjoy their Sour Patch Kids and Milky Ways in moderation will be all-too-real in the coming weeks. Some local dentists are standing up and doing something about it. What could possibly motivate kids to eat less Halloween candy?
The Post-Halloween Get Rich Quick Scheme
The answer is, of course, money. Several dentists are hosting Halloween candy buy back programs, and these programs are exactly what they sound like: dentists will literally pay your children for every piece of candy they are willing to hand over. Moreover, most of the programs put the candy to good use, instead of simply wasting it. Some of the programs send the Halloween candy along with festive Halloween cards to military troops overseas, for example.
Some dentists also take the opportunity to hand out free dental and oral healthcare items, like complimentary toothbrushes and toothpaste. A standard toothbrush contains 25,000 bristles in 40 separate groups or tufts. Americans should always rinse toothbrushes with hot water after use and swap out old toothbrushes for a new one every three months, or immediately after recovering from a cold or any other illness. Find a dentist in your area who is participating in Halloween candy buy back programs by going online — or by calling dental offices directly.
What Else Can You Do?
There are some other steps you can take to keep children’s teeth reasonably healthy this Halloween. Remember, tooth enamel is the hardest material in our bodies, so — with regular brushing and flossing — it will stick around. Make sure kids are extra careful about brushing in the next few weeks, and consider passing out fun alternatives to candy — like small toys, temporary tattoos, or stickers.
Are your children continually asking you to bump up their allowance? Find a dentist who is willing to buy back their Halloween candy, and your kids can earn a little extra — while also promoting good dental and oral health.