Candy-for-cash saves Calgary kids' teeth

A Calgary dentist wants to be sitting on the biggest collection of Halloween candy in the city come Nov. 1, as part of the third annual Halloween Candy Buy Back.
Angela Ewacha said she plans to make the Halloween Candy Buy Back a family tradition. ((CBC))

A Calgary dentist wants to be sitting on the biggest collection of Halloween candy in the city come Nov. 1.

The Evans Centre for Dental Health and Wellness will then dispose of it all, said Dr. Kindal Robertson.

As part of their third annual Halloween Candy Buy Back, the dental centre is offering $1 for every pound of Halloween candy brought in on Monday.

Robertson said the Halloween Candy Buy Back is his office's attempt at preventing tooth decay.

Kids are actually enthusiastic to give away their candy for money, said Robertson.

"These kids are giving it away by the pounds. Last year, almost 900 pounds of candy [was brought in]," he said.

"These kids come in with happy faces, they're happy to get rid of it and they've got something to show for it at the end of the day."

Nothing to do but chuck the candy out: dentist

Robertson said that moderation in most things is OK, but that the unrestrained feasting on sugary treats that many kids get to in the month after Halloween is damaging to dental health.

He said that between December and January he's swamped with cavities and the need to pull teeth.

"As a parent, I'm inundated with the study changes, the hyperactivity and the possible weight gain that comes as a result of kids gorging themselves on candy after Halloween," Robertson said.

Angela Ewacha brought her daughter Brooklyn, 6, into the centre on Friday to get some dental work done stemming from a cavity, root canal and pulled tooth.

A Calgary dentist's office is offering to trade one pound of candy for $1 on Nov. 1, the day after Halloween. ((Dan Goodman/Associated Press))

She said she'll be bringing her two kids to the Halloween Candy Buy Back for the first time this year, and intends to make it a new family tradition to get the kids to dump their excess candy.

"We're trying to avoid future problems like this by reducing the amount of sugar we have in the house," said Ewacha.

"The kids love to go trick or treating, they look forward to it from Nov. 1 ... but too much candy just puts the kids into mental chaos and physical chaos."

Robertson said the one problem with the Candy Buy Back is what to do with all the stuff afterwards. They chuck it, he said, because the only other options — like giving it away to the less fortunate — keep the candy in circulation.

Halloween candy can be dropped off between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Monday at the dental centre at the Market Mall Professional Building, located at Suite 234, 4935 40th Avenue N.W.