Keeping candy out of braces

By Bullet News
October 29, 2014

NIAGARA – A local orthodontist is hoping children and their parents will want to trade in some of their Halloween candy with the aim of helping others.

On Saturday, Nov. 8 at the offices of Niagara Peninsula Orthodontics in St. Catharines and Niagara Falls, Dr. Neeraj Pershad will welcome families who wish to trade in some Halloween candy to benefit St. Catharines-Thorold and Niagara Falls chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Because Halloween treats can damage orthodontic patients’ braces or other appliances, and contribute to tooth decay, Dr. Pershad wants to help patients avoid injury to their braces, aligners and teeth by buying back Halloween candy.

For every pound of candy surrendered, Dr. Pershad will donate $1, and the donations will be split between the organization’s two chapters.

Dr. Pershad and his team will accept new, wrapped Halloween candy at the weigh-in, Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon in the St. Catharines location, 411 Lake St. From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. they will be at the Niagara Falls location, 4072 Portage Rd.

“This gives us the opportunity to educate our patients and community and help them prevent damage to their braces or aligners, which could affect their orthodontic treatment,” said Dr. Pershad. “Plus it is a fantastic way to bring our community together for a great cause, helping Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Catharines, Thorold & District & Big Brothers Big Sisters Niagara Falls.”

Dr. Pershad notes that the days immediately following Halloween are usually an orthodontist’s busiest time of year for emergency calls. He is hopeful that his candy buy-back program will cut down on orthodontic emergencies, yet allow patients, especially those wearing braces or aligners, to have some Halloween fun.

According to Dr. Pershad, 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. He recommends patients who are in orthodontic treatment avoid the following: Caramel; toffee; bubble gum; peanuts; tortilla chips and unpopped kernels of popcorn.