With trick-or-treating in full swing, many pediatric dentists are bracing for the aftermath: emergency dental visits caused by excessive candy consumption. Appointments spike after Halloween to treat everything from cracked teeth to damaged fillings.
A few obvious solutions come to mind. Parents can deal with the problem at the source and take custody of all that candy, doling it out later in small portions. They can also confiscate the candy outright, or even ban trick-or-treating altogether. But what’s the fun in that? No one said parenting was easy. You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Fortunately, some innovative dental practices are stepping in to help parents deal with the Halloween candy dilemma. Their solution: candy buyback programs. Candy buybacks offer compensation to children who bring their pillowcases full of candy when they come in for a dental visit. Kimball & Beecher Family Dentistry, which operates several practices in Iowa, pays children $3 for every pound of candy donated as part of its annual Halloween Candy Buyback.
Now that Halloween is coming to a close, you may want to consider a similar program at your practice. Not only will you earn the appreciation of parents, you’ll also reward the little ones, who won’t feel cheated out of all that hard work going door-to-door for their candy haul.