Gulf Coast Orthodontics announces annual Candy for Cash campaign

To celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month in October, Fort Myers orthodontist Drs. Michele Laboda and Van Speas of Gulf Coast Orthodontics invite patients and their families to trade-in Halloween candy that can play tricks on orthodontic treatment for the treat of helping others. Because Halloween treats can damage orthodontic patients’ braces or other appliances and contribute to tooth decay, Dr. Laboda wants to help patients avoid injury to their braces, aligners and teeth by buying back Halloween candy. “This is the 15th year that we have done this program and every year we are amazed at the amount of candy we receive,” said Dr. Laboda.

Drs. Laboda and Speas are paying each participant $1.00 for every pound of Halloween treats surrendered, up to 10 pounds per person. A matching amount will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Collected candy will be used to benefit Harry Chapin food bank, local senior centers and some will also be sent to our military stationed overseas. This festive Halloween Candy Buy-Back event is open to anyone who would like to participate and the office will accept new, wrapped Halloween candy from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on November 1st through November 3rd.  The office address is 14361 Metropolis Avenue, Suite 1, Fort Myers, Florida.

“Kids and our adult patients love our annual Halloween candy buy-back program,” said Dr. Laboda. “Parents appreciate their kids giving up their Halloween candy to help others, and it gives us the chance to educate our patients and help them prevent damage to their braces or aligners, which could affect their orthodontic treatment,” said Dr. Laboda. “Plus it is a fantastic way to bring our community together for a great cause, helping the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.”

Dr. Laboda notes that the days immediately following Halloween are usually an orthodontist’s busiest time of year for emergency calls. She is hopeful that their candy buy-back program will cut down on orthodontic emergencies, yet allow patients, especially those wearing braces or aligners, to have some Halloween fun.  It’s important to add that not all candy is forbidden during orthodontic treatment. According to Dr. Laboda, plain chocolate or soft, chocolate-covered peanut butter cups are permissible as long as patients remember to brush and floss thoroughly after indulging in sweet treats.  

Dr. Laboda recommends that patients who are in orthodontic treatment avoid these foods or candies: 
• Caramel
• Taffy
• Bubblegum
• Peanuts
• Taco chips
• Unpopped kernels of popcorn