Some Canadian dentists are offering a post-Halloween candy buyback program beginning today, in an effort to promote proper dental care.
Dr. Brian Kiri of Nova Scotia says for a visit to the dentist sometimes induces just as much fear as Halloween itself. He wanted to try something new to keep kids away from his drill.
Children can bring their Halloween candy to Kiri's office at the Penhorn Dental Centre in Dartmouth, have it weighed, and the doctor will buy it for $1 a pound.
Karen English, a former dental hygienist and mother of three, is among those taking part in this year's candy buyback offer. She already has her candy scale calibrated and ready to go.
English said she has seen the impact of Halloween first-hand.
"It's killing their teeth," she said.
"Each time they take this constant barrage of sugar in their mouth, really it's not helpful. What happens is, the next thing you know, a few months later, they've got cavities. They go from, 'Yay, we've got no cavities' to 'Uh oh, we've got trouble now.'"
To buy a pound of candy — roughly 454 grams — costs approximately $5 to $8. From a purely economics point of view, kids may not be in a big rush to cash it in for a buck.
Aaron Russell, who works for the Evans Centre for Dental Health & Wellness in Calgary, said his office buys back about 680 kilograms of candy a year.
"I think it polarizes the discussion," he said.
"The people who like to trash it like that idea a lot, but there are other people who furrow their eyebrows and think you are stealing Halloween from children."
Russell has no regrets about throwing people's candy in the trash because ultimately, he said, that's what it is and that's where it belongs.
Kiri and English said they will give their candy to the Canadian Forces, who will ship it in care packages to soldiers overseas.