Madison (WKOW) -- from Creative Company: A Madison-area dentist is leading the way as a cadre of cavity-fighting crusaders aim to "take back Halloween."
Spearheaded by Dr. Chris Kammer, of Center for Cosmetic Dentistry in Middleton, WI, the "Halloween Candy Buy Back" will offer children $1 for every pound of Halloween candy they bring in on Nov. 1.
They will send the candy overseas to armed forces members serving in Iraq.
"Not only will children's teeth thank them for getting rid of the candy," says Dr. Kammer," but a Tootsie Pop might brighten a soldier's day just a little bit."
During the 2006 buy back, one Madison mother said "I no longer get queasy about my kid's massive sugar rush the week following Halloween. Most of it is gone in less than 24 hours, and my kids feel great about doing something to support the troops."
After collecting close to 1000 pounds of candy during his Halloween Candy Buy Back in 2007, Dr. Kammer was impressed with his take, but he didn't realize the power of the program until he received pictures from Iraq.
"They were in some miserable conditions, but with candy in hand, they had huge smiles on their faces!" said Dr. Kammer as he described the pictures.
To obtain a bigger candy stash and help even more troops, Dr. Kammer recruited over 200 of his colleagues in the dental profession from across the country.
Now with a lofty goal of roughly 80,000 pounds-the dentists hope to make a large dent in children's overall candy consumption.
"We're not the grinchy dentists who stole Halloween," says Dr. Kammer. "Kids should still dress up, go out, have fun, and yes, even eat some candy. But after picking out the best of their stash, they will probably have about 10 pounds left and nobody needs that much candy!"
With kids' global sugar consumption increasing by about two percent annually and currently sitting at 150 million tons per year, the Halloween Candy Buy Back is expected to ease the tooth decay of candy.
Sugary treats, as well as hurting children's teeth, can lead to hyperactivity and weight gain.
In some cases, the wrong types of candy can also lead to broken teeth and damaged braces.