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Rye Dentist Has a Healthy Halloween Trick

RYE, N.Y. - Most dentists don’t want their younger patients to get a lot of candy when they go trick or treating on Halloween. For Dr. Deborah Troy at Rye Smiles pediatric dentistry in Rye, that isn’t the case. In fact, the dentists there might encourage children to get too much candy.

This is not a selfish attempt to attract business but rather to entice donations for Rye Smiles' Halloween buy back program.

“A lot of parents just don’t want their kids to have the extra candy around the house and kids wanted to earn something for the extra candy,” said Troy.

So last year, the Purchase Street offices launched its first Halloween candy buy back program. The premise is simple. Children can bring in their excess Halloween candy and receive cash in return.

The program, which begins Nov. 1 and runs all of next week, does not just reward children for making healthier decisions but also has benefits reaching internationally.

After collecting the candy, the staff at Rye Smiles packages the candy and sends it to Operation Gratitude, a charity that sends care packages to deployed U.S. military men and women. Rye Smiles donations will be grouped with Operation Gratitude’s other donations from their national Halloween buy back campaign that last year shipped 125 tons of candy to troops overseas.

The charity doesn’t stop there. Rye Smiles pays one dollar per pound of candy and also matches the total amount they give for excess candy and donates the matched total to the Make A Wish Foundation. There are no prerequisites for who can donate as Rye Smiles welcomes patients and walk-ins.

“We take candy from anybody,” said Dr. Troy. “People can come in anytime. We have our weigh scale up front and our receptionists there all day to dish out the money.”

Schools that bring candy to Rye Smiles do not benefit from the cash exchange but are able to have their candy shipped by Rye Smiles to Operation Gratitude.

Last year, Rye Smiles collected more than 2,000 pounds of candy and with a similar turnout expected this year, Dr. Troy wants to continue the program for years to come.

“This is definitely something we want to keep doing. We’ve had such a reponse that we just have to do it again,” she said.

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