Panama City Dentist Offers Cold Hard Cash for Halloween Candy

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Kids love it, even adults can't seem to get enough of it, but candy can cause serious health problems.

And with every candy lover's holiday right around the corner, Panhandle Pediatric Dentist Dr. Eric Berry is continuing a unique tradition to save your teeth by offering up real money in exchange for the fruits of your trick or treating labor.

"We give them a dollar a pound for their candy, but we also enter their name in a drawing for an iPad," said Dr. Berry.

The buyback program runs in conjunction with "Operation Shoe Box" and "Operation Gratitude," so Panhandle Pediatric donates the sweets to our troops serving overseas.

"You've been doing it for 3 years now. How's successful has it been?" asked NewsChannel 7's Bryan Anderson.

"It's been wildly successful. Last year was over 430 pounds of candy," answered Berry.

At the heart of the idea if, of course, dental health. Many of us don't think twice about the side effects of overloading on the countless m-n-m's and twizzlers Halloween night. But really how dangerous can a Reese's be? Dr. Berry said the consequences can be fatal.

"When you eat the sugar, it makes an acid, and the acid eats a hole in your tooth, which can cause problems, up to even being potentially life-threatening, especially in children, with abcesses and things that can form with these," said Berry.

No need to panic, though. Cavaties are easily avoided by basic dental hygiene like brushing your teeth, and in this case selling your candy. As for what Dr. Berry said you should do with the money?

"Toothbrush would be good, some other toy. Change it out for something a little bit more healthy," said Dr. Berry.

Although the max payout to kids is only $5, they're also eligible to possibly win an iPad. The candy buyback is November 1st from 3:30 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Panhandle Pediatric's office off Highway 390.

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