Trick or Teeth: Dentist-Approved Candy and a Sweet Buyback Program

Written by Marilyn Hawkes Category: Health & Fitness Issue: October 2015

Photo courtesy Getty ImagesWhen Halloween is over and the little goblins gather to count their candy, parents often cringe at the amount of potential cavities spread out before them.

Dr. Justin Philipp of J Philipp Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry advises against letting your kids eat sticky, chewy treats such as gummy bears, caramel and taffy; sour candies that have high acid content and break down tooth enamel; hard candies that stay in the mouth a long time, coating the teeth with sugar; and jawbreakers that can chip teeth.

Philipp is offering an alternative to ingesting the sugar-laden loot. For the third year, he’ll buy back candy for $2 a pound (up to five pounds). Last year, he collected more than 130 pounds of candy.

He recommends that parents let children choose their favorite pieces of candy and then donate the rest, which will be shipped to American troops as part of Operation Gratitude. “It’s a lot of fun. Not only does it teach the kids about giving to others, (but) also assures the children will be indulging in a little less sugar. Now that is music to a dentist’s ears.”

Parents can bring their children to drop off candy at Philip’s office from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2.

And in case you’re wondering, Philipp does eat candy. His favorite? Chocolate. “Chocolate dissolves quickly, which means it limits the access to sugars that harmful bacteria use to cause cavities and gum disease. This results in fewer cavities and healthier gums,” he says. Other “good” candy he suggests as dental-friendly alternatives: sugar-free lollipops and sugar-free gum.

J Philipp Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry is located at 3230 S. Gilbert Rd., Suite 4, Chandler.

For more information, call 480-306-5506 or visit