Lancaster dental practice offers to buy back excess Halloween candy, donate it to U.S. troops

LANCASTER — If your little ghosts and goblins are a bit too successful in landing a large Trick or Treat candy haul, one Lancaster dental care practice has a novel solution.

Dr. Matthew T. Kingston and the Healthy Smiles Dental team is partnering with the national Halloween Candy Buy-Back program to invite trick-or-treaters to trade in their excess Halloween candy for cash. The collected candy will be sent to U.S. military personnel serving overseas through Operation Gratitude.

Last year, Healthy Smiles Dental collected 102 pounds of candy to send to U.S. troops.

Trick-or-treaters can turn in their excess candy by visiting the Healthy Smiles Dental office in the Woods Edge Plaza on 144 S. Centerville Road. They will receive $1 per pound in exchange for their loot.

Unopened candy will be collected at Healthy Smiles Dental on Wednesday, November 1 from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Thursday, November 2 from 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Monday, November 6 from 9 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. There is a limit of 5 pounds per child, and commercial outlets are excluded.

Healthy Smiles Dental also encourages children to draw a picture or write a note to a service person, which will be sent along with the candy. In addition, Dr. Kingston will send individually-packaged toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste to be included in care packages for the troops.

“Families want their children to enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating, but many are at a loss what to do when they wind up with more candy than they want children to consume,” Kingston said in a press release announcing the program. “We believe this program offers a terrific solution to this annual dilemma, and it’s a win-win for our troops, as well.

“Parents know that daily brushing and flossing, combined with twice-a-year visits to the dentist, will help limit the onset of cavities. But limiting excess sweets can go a long way to preventing tooth decay, as well as to establishing dietary habits that can help over a child’s lifetime. In addition to its role in promoting cavities, too much candy can lead to hyperactivity and weight gain. Some types of candy can also result in broken teeth and damaged braces.”

Operation Gratitude annually sends 200,000+ care packages filled with donated snacks, hygiene and entertainment items, and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. service members deployed overseas, their families at home, new recruits, first responders, veterans, and wounded heroes and their care givers. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 1,800,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.

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