Health Inspired Dentistry Blog

No trick, dentists buy back treats to protect teeth and support U.S. troops: Michael K. McIntyre's TIpoff Tuesday, 26 November 2013

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The scariest Halloween costume this year is not a twerking Miley Cyrus, though that’s close.

It’s not Brandon Weeden, toppled by a rush of Lions and Bears and Vikings and Ravens as he stands still, unable to decide which house to target for trick-or-treat.

It’s not even a take on cable TV hit “Orange is the new Black” featuring the corrupt and jail-garb-wearing corrupt convicts formerly in charge of Cuyahoga County government – “Orange is the New Black Eye?”

With all that candy on hand (and in mouth), “family dentist” is the costume most likely to make a trick-or treater tremble.

But what if the dentist has a dollar bill instead of a drill?

Dr. Claudia Minadeo-Fox joins the cause!

Dr. Claudia Minadeo-Fox of Cleveland has joined a cadre of dentists nationwide who are offering $1 per pound of candy in a post-Hallloween buy back program. Some offices are buying back candy on Friday, some Monday, some for several days. Minadeo-Fox is waiting until after school Monday (3-6 p.m.) to give kids a chance to sort through their stash and pick out some choice keepers.

Dr. Chris Kammer, a Middleton, Wisconsin dentist, started the Halloween Candy Buy Back Program eight years ago in an effort to keep enamel busting sugar out of his patient’s mouths, but also to provide aid to U.S. military personnel in war zones.

Candy from each participating dentist is pooled – you’d need a pretty big plastic pumpkin or pillowcase to hold the 127.5 tons collected last year – and is sent to U.S. personnel overseas in care packages via Operation Gratitude. Service men and women eat some and distribute most to local kids, spreading goodwill.

This is the first year Minadeo-Fox is participating.

“My son goes, ‘Mom, what are you doing? You’re taking candy from kids? Who’s gonna want to give up their candy?’” she said. The 14-year-old will soon find out. He’s been drafted to run the scale.

Minadeo-Fox will give out goody bags, as most dentists are doing, along with a buck a pound. There will be a toothbrush included, of course, and in Minadeo-Fox’s bag, candy with Xyletol sweetener, which she said helps get rid of cavity-causing bacteria.

Other local dentists participating in the candy buy back, according to the national organization’s Web site:

Semans Family Dentistry, Fairlawn (Monday, 3-6 p.m.); Dr. Bryan Terhune Jr., Canton, (Monday and Tuesday, office hours); Dr. Daniel Balaze, Beachwood (Tuesday-Thursday, office hours); Rockside Family Dental Care , Independence (Monday-Wednesday, 6-8 p.m. — $2 per pound if you wear a costume); Dr. Scott Nagy, Elyria (Monday, 5-7:30 p.m.); The Healthy Smile, Bay Village (Monday 3-7 p.m.; Wednesday, 3-6 p.m.); Brunswick Kidds Pediatric Dentistry, Brunswick (Friday, 2-5 p.m.)

Minadeo-Fox said she realizes kids will eat candy and aren’t expected to give up their whole stash. She says to brush right away after eating. And she preaches that some candy is better than others, dental-health wise.

“Choose things that aren’t sticky and don’t stay in your mouth a long time,” she said. “Don’t go for gummy bears or Swedish fish or suckers. Eat some M&Ms.”

That’s right. The dentist recommends M&Ms. Suddenly, not so scary any more.