Candy buyback will benefit military families

Dr. Eric Paster with his dog Utley and Dental Assistant/Implant Coordinator Lauren, in the front office of The Royersford Dentist. Dr. Paster is conducting a Halloween candy buyback program from Nov. 1 ñ 14 at his office located at 500 Walnut Street in Royersford.

A dentist in Royersford will be conducting a Halloween Candy Buyback in November which will not only put a few bucks in kids’ pockets, but also allow their generosity to reach U.S. troops both at home and abroad.

Dr. Eric Paster, who opened his practice The Royersford Dentist at 500 Walnut Street in Royersford in January, will launch Operation Buyback from Nov. 1 – 14. As part of the buyback, children can exchange a pound of Halloween candy for one dollar, and the candy bought will then go to the Liberty USO (a chartered affiliate of the USO serving Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey) which redistributes the candy to members of the military and their families.

Paster said that the buyback will allow kids to experience the benefits of giving. Also, when the child comes to sell off their sweets, Dr. Paster gets the opportunity to talk with them about taking care of their teeth. Paster has three tips for Halloween candy eating:

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1. Eat your candy all at once - despite most parental warnings, eating candy in one sitting is actually better for your teeth. With each bite of candy we take in, we increase the acid content on our teeth for 2-3 minutes. By snacking on candy in one sitting, rather than throughout the day, we reduce the amount of time that acid sits on the tooth’s surface - a known cause of tooth decay.

2. Brush your teeth after consuming candy – if you cannot brush your teeth, rinse your mouth out with water. This helps get the sugar off of your teeth.

3. Avoid sticky candy such as taffy – sticky candy can crack or break your teeth, and damage or pull out fillings.

“There’s nothing wrong with eating candy,” he said. “I eat candy too. Just be careful to not (overdo it) and then make sure that you get the sugar off of your teeth.”

Paster said that he read about the candy buyback in an American Dental Association publication. He felt that the buyback was a great way to jump into the community and start a tradition while also helping soldiers and their families. He has set a target goal of collecting 500 lbs. of candy.

“I always felt that there was more candy that was needed after Halloween,” Paster said. “So we wanted to find something good to do with it.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most Americans consume over 24 pounds of candy a year with the majority eaten during Halloween.

Paster said that when kids come in to ‘sell’ their candy, they can have their picture taken with the scale that weighs their candy. Whoever brings in the most candy will get to come back and have their picture taken with Liberty USO personnel on the candy pickup day.

“This is all for the benefit of charity, we really want to let those local military members and their families know that we are thinking about them,” said Paster. “I hope to make this a tradition. This is a great way to do something nice while also helping ourselves.”

According to Kerry Auge, Marketing Manager with Liberty USO, the candy will be combined with other collection efforts and used locally or delivered to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.

“Locally we have a couple of centers of operation where it get distributed,” said Auge. “They are the Philadelphia International Airport, Horsham Air Guard Station, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey and Fort Indiantown Gap”

The more durable candy will be portioned out into care packages that are sent overseas throughout the year.

“We get tons of feedback and having the candy in these packages is a big hit,” Auge added.

For more information on Operation Buyback, contact The Royersford Dentist at 610-948-8518

Editor’s note –Information contributing to this article was provided by Beth Nestlerode.