That hum in the air? It’s the anticipation of every New York City child raring to hit the streets this Halloween. (Fair enough: strangers dole out free candy.) But there’s a dark side: sugar highs, upset stomachs, cavities. Candy buy-backs to the rescue! These cash-for-candy programs conducted by area dentists help you and your child unload some of the haul, with the bonus of providing care packages for eager recipients such as men and women in the military. Read on to see where your little goblin can make a sweet exchange!

photo: via Ruth Hartnup on Flickr creative commons


Bay Ridge Family Dental: Dr. Souferian and his staff will be buying back unopened candy at $1 per pound. They will be happy to accept up to five pounds. This candy will be sent to our troops serving overseas.

When: Sun., Nov. 2
1 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: 8301 3rd Ave. at the corner of 83rd St.

Park Slope Pediatric Dental and Orthodontic Associates: There is no limit to the amount of candy your little one can bring in to the office Dr. Alan Azrak D.D.S., where kids will receive a toy for every pound they part with. Azrak is committed to the cause: his buy-back program runs for the entire month of November! All candy will be sent to troops serving overseas.

When: Nov. 1 – 30

Where: 131 6th Ave. between Sterling and Park Pl.


photo: via Jeff Adair on Flickr creative commons


Concerned Dental Care of the Bronx: Dr. Fensterstock, D.D.S. of Concerned Dental Care will take as much unopened candy as your little ghoul wants to bring in! He will pay $1 per pound, and sends every participant away with a brand new toothbrush as well. (The office also accepts joint gifts, in case your kiddo’s class wants to pool its stash for a big payday.) Candy collected is brought to girl scouts who make care packages for soldiers overseas as well as shelters for women and the homeless.

When: Nov. 1 – 8

Where: 55 E. Mosholu Pkwy. N.



Bronsky Orthodontics NYC: Bronsky Orthodontics raked in 200 pounds of candy last year, and the office is primed for a monster 2014 buy-back. The practice will be giving $1 for each pound of unopened candy, and will accept up to five pounds of the sweet stuff. You can exchange your candy for cash at either the Upper East side or Tribeca location. All proceeds from the program are sent to military overseas through Operation Gratitude.

When: Nov. 3 – 7

Where:530 Park Ave., #1G
Upper East Side                                                                                                                                                                             212.758.0040

15 Harrison St.

Perfect Smiles Orthodontics: Kids looking to get the biggest bucks for their Blow Pops should head to Perfect Smiles, where they are offering $3 for every pound of unopened candy brought in the week following Halloween. And, there’s no limit on how much you can bring in.  The office will be sending its candy overseas through Operation Gratitude as well.

When: Nov. 3 – 7

Where: 263 West End Ave., #1A

photo: via slgckgc on Flickr creative commons


Silverman & Associates will be holding “Operation Candy Buy Back,” and they’re serious. The practice will buy back candy for $1 per pound, up to 10 pounds. Cash in for a whole week at either the Bellmore or Bayside location. All treats go to deployed soldiers.

When: Nov 1-8

Where: 2595 Merrick Rd.

43-07 214 Pl.

Staten Island

Dr. Phyllis G. Merlino, DDS: Pediatric dentist Dr. Merlino had a stellar buy back last year, and will be opening her doors again this year to accept candy overflow. Her office offers $1 per pound of unopened candy, and works with Operation Gratitude to send the sweets to troops overseas.

When: Nov. 3, 4 & 6; 3-6 p.m.

Where: 268 Todt Hill Rd.

Ideal Smiles Dental: Dr. Kluchman and Dr. Shtarkman have both worked in Veterans hospitals and are dedicated to supporting the troops, so they are especially excited to be conducting a buy-back program this year. The doctors will be giving out $1 per pound of candy exchanged (with a five pound maximum) as well as a goodie bags. All candy will be sent overseas through Operation Gratitude.

When: Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: 2955 Veterans Rd. W., #2G

photo: via Rochelle Hartman on Flickr creative commons

Not able to make it to any of these locations? Don’t fret! Here are a few organizations to which you can directly send the goods:

Operation Gratitude: This is the most popular organization for the Halloween buy-back program among the dentists. Click here to learn how you can package and send candy directly on your own.

Any Soldier: This is a unique organization through which you get to choose what to send and to which soldier. Just search the Any Solder database to find servicemen and women who have requested candy, package it up, and send it their way.

Operation Shoebox: This organization has been sending care packages to troops overseas since 2003. Their volunteers ship lots of different items overseas year-round, with candy being the most popular around the holidays, especially Halloween. Click here to learn how you can donate.

Do you know of a great Halloween buy-back program? Let us know about it in the comments below!

—Katie Johnson

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