Dentists Organize A Cash-For-Candy Program on Halloween

By Boonsri Dickinson | October 29, 2009 4:32 pm

candyMany children are anxiously awaiting Halloween this weekend. But with all these sugary treats come a price: cavities. In fact, one out of every four children in the U.S. currently has at least one cavity in their baby teeth, a number that’s the highest it’s been in 40 years— and has been blamed on today’s sugary diet. Even worse, British researchers found that when kids consumed candy every day, they were more likely to be criminals when they grew up.

This Halloween, two Michigan dentists, Shawn Morris and Daniel Simmons, are encouraging kids to turn in their candy for cash. The mission is called Operation Gratitude—children will receive $1 per pound of sweets, so the dentists can collect a large candy stash. The candy, however, won’t go uneaten: The dentists will send it to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq so they can hand out the candy to local children.

So what is the incentive for candy-heavy children to turn in their loot? Hometownlife reports:

Youngsters who trade in their candy — a maximum of five pounds per child and total 1,000 pounds for the event — will receive a new Firefly glow-in-the-dark toothbrush and a goody bag of gifts. The youngsters will also be entered in a raffle to win one of three Nano iPods.

Along with reducing damage to young teeth, the candy collection also will benefit U.S. troops.

Good habits taught when you’re young could go a long way—especially considering that 80 percent of U.S. adults have some sort of gum disease. Plus, if cavities are left untreated, they can lead to permanent damage including loss of teeth and gum disease, which has been linked to stroke and heart disease. Seriously, more candy, more problems.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Is Your Halloween Costume Safe?
Discoblog: Top Ten Science Halloween Costumes Part I
Discoblog: Top Ten Science Halloween Costumes Part II

Image: flickr/ spundekas

  • Lexi

    Am I missing something? Why would you give candy to children with little to no access to dental care?

  • PE

    At first blush, it seemed a good idea. Then came the details: the evil candy will be sent to 20- and 30-something US sojers, who will aid tooth rot by taking some themselves, and generously aid tooth rot among Iraqi kids in the name of good relations! Well done, Michiganer dentists!
    US kids can use the $$ for their favorite candies, none of that kandy korn, thankee. And dentistry will prosper. How does the song go…Parents, don’t let your babies grow up to be centists…

  • finchley_dentist

    Tooth pain can be a sign of many different things. It can be caused by redness of the gums, an abscess ( an infection that develops in the tooth root or between the tooth and gum ), a cracked tooth, a dislodged filling, or the commonest culprit, a hole. However, occasionally a toothache is caused by something as easy as surrounded food between the teeth. The particles of food can irritate the gums and the pain can radiate into the encompassing teeth.

    Read More from Dentist in Finchley

  • Tampa Dentist

    What a reightous and brilliant move. Both from the perspective of showing their humanity as well as being clever businessmen. But then again they sort of lose me in sending it to the children of Iraq. I understand the gesture, but if your trying to help children… help them irregardless of their location. Interesting article. I wonder what the business repurcussions were for these two. Certainly gained favor amongst local parents I would imagine.

  • Juan Kanipe


  • Baguio Dentist

    Im wodering? Why would you give candy to children with small or no access to dental treatment?

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