As a toddler, my son was slow to warm up to just about everything. Halloween was no exception. He didn’t like wearing a costume or the attention that costume-wearing brought (who doesn’t love a two-year-old dressed like a rooster?). But by age three, he had his first epiphany: Halloween is all about candy!  I recall his declaration, as if the first kid to ever figure it out, “Mom, all you have to do is put on a costume and they give you candy!” 

I prefer not to have candy in the house. We spend hours negotiating when he’s going to get it, how much he gets, or why he can’t have it with breakfast. Fortunately I found a solution this year – we’re selling the candy. My son’s dentist will give him a $1 gold coin for every pound of candy we bring in. (The gold coins are a huge selling point since he’s currently in a pirate phase.) We’ve agreed that after Halloween, he can select his five favorite pieces of candy and the rest will be sold.

Our dentist isn’t alone in his quest to keep kids’ teeth (and waistlines) healthy. Throughout the U.S., hundreds of dentists participate in the Candy Buy Back program, offering cash, coupons, toothbrushes or more in exchange for candy. The candy is usually then donated to Operation Gratitude to send to troops stationed overseas. I’ve listed some Contra Costa dentists who participate in the program, or you can click here and type in your zip code to find a participating office near you.  Most programs do not require you to be a patient.  Call first to make sure they’re still involved and to find out what you need to do to participate.

“Candy Buy Back” Dentists in Contra Costa County:

Downtown Concord Dental
2151 Salvio St. Suite A-1
Concord, Ca, 94520
Phone: (925) 566-8738

Linh Cao-Chan, DDS
10110 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA, 94530
Phone: (510) 526-4747

Douglas Oliver, D.D.S.
2200 San Pablo Ave. #101
Pinole, CA, 94564
Phone: (510) 724-6161

Oak Street Family Dentistry
62 Oak Street
Brentwood, Ca, 94513
Phone: (925) 634-9237

2 thoughts on “Turn Halloween Candy into Cash

  1. It’s good to see Operation Gratitude gaining momentum nationally. We have a local program called “Holidays For Heroes” which collects and sends the excess to troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. If we could just get the community to focus on alternatives to candy (day-glo bracelets, funky pencils, etc.)

  2. Our dentist isn’t alone in his quest to keep kids’ teeth (and waistlines) healthy. Throughout the U.S., hundreds of dentists participate in the Candy Buy Back program, offering cash, coupons, toothbrushes or more in exchange for candy. The candy is usually then donated to Operation Gratitude to send to troops stationed overseas.

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