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Orthodontists Offer Sweet Incentives for Tricky Halloween Treats
Date:10/28/2008

Annual buy-back program expects to collect 16 tons of candy

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The average American consumes more than 24 pounds of candy per year, and a sizeable portion of that indulgence is eaten around Halloween*. For most people, this year's candy noshing will simply create an expanded beltline. However, for the more than 5 million North Americans in orthodontic treatment, Halloween treats can pose more tricky consequences.

To help ease candy temptation this Halloween, hundreds of members of the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) will sponsor candy buy-back programs in their offices. The initiative, which takes place immediately after Halloween, encourages patients of participating AAO members to bring their 'sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy' treats into their orthodontist's office and exchange them for braces-friendly alternatives such as movie tickets, gift certificates or cash. This year, AAO members are expected to collect at least 32,000 pounds -- or 16 tons -- of candy**.

The days immediately following Halloween are among the busiest of the year for orthodontists as they add emergency appointments to their schedules and repair braces damaged when patients indulge in inappropriate treats. This year, Halloween falls on a Friday, and many orthodontists' offices are closed on the weekend. A broken bracket or loose wire could make for an uncomfortable holiday weekend -- for both kids and their parents. Staying away from those tricky treats can prevent an emergency trip to the orthodontist, which could mean missed work for parents and time lost from school for young patients. Broken braces have the potential to prolong treatment.

"Each October the AAO encourages all orthodontic patients to have a fun and safe Halloween, but to keep in mind that some treats are not braces-friendly. If you have braces, you should avoid any foods that are sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy," says Raymond George, Sr., DMD, a
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SOURCE American Association of Orthodontists
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