Local dentists offer to buy back Halloween candy

Dentist offices doing candy buy back programs

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The day after Halloween many parents find themselves wondering what to do with all the leftover candy from trick-or-treating. Several West Michigan dentists are offering a solution.

Brian S. Nylaan, D.D.S. is among those offering to take that uneaten candy out of the hands of local children.

"We are buying it back. We are inviting the kids to come in and meet the 'Tooth Fairy,'" Dr. Nylaan said. "She will be here for three hours. She normally sleeps but she is going to hang out with us and take your candy and give you a dollar a pound, plus a goodie bag."

"We are hoping to give away $250 to $300. We don't give them paper. We give them dollar coins. It is something hard to hold onto and hopefully hard to lose. "

The candy is then shipped to California, free with the help of United Parcel Service, to Operation Gratitude. 

"It is an organization that supports the troops, specifically in the Middle East, right now," Dr. Nylaan explained.  "What they do is put together care packages with sweet treats and various other things. It is just to give them something a little above and beyond what they get from normal Army rations and supplies."

This is the eighth year his office has held the Candy Buy Back. Throughout that time, he estimates having the officer has gotten more than 1,900 pounds of candy off the street.

"We are proud of the fact," he said. "In exchange, we have to give them the good things -- from a dental perspective."

The goodie bags include a toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm and wrist bands embossed with the words "brush.floss.smile."

And, his advice for parents who can't get their kids to hand over the candy, is simple.. brush, brush, brush. 

"After that amount of candy, the acid is just blooming in the mouth. And, acid causes tooth decay," Dr. Nylaan told us. "What you have is a situation where you put sugar and bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria starts producing the acid; he acid is what produces the decay and the decay is what produces the trips to come and see me," he said. "My objective is to keep the visits down to a minimum."

The Candy Buy Back is happening from 4 until  7 p.m. at Nylaan's practice, located at  5011 Plainfield Avenue NE, in Grand Rapids.

According to GRKids.com, it is one of many happening in West Michigan today and through the week. 

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