SC Dental Offices Trading Halloween Candy for Toys

4-year-old Mary Powell exchanges some of her Halloween candy for a toy at the Kool Smiles office in Columbia Friday.

COLUMBIA, SC– The Kool Smiles Dental offices in South Carolina are trading Halloween candy for toys, in an effort to reduce the amount of candy children eat and to help our troops. The candy they collect will be sent, as part of “Operation Gratitude” care packages, to U.S. armed forces serving overseas.

Children will get one toy for every 25 pieces of candy they trade, with a limit of three toys per child. You don’t have to be a patient. This is the fourth year for the candy exchange, and last year the offices collected more than two tons of candy.

Dr. Allyson Sheffield, a dentist in the Kool Smiles Columbia office, says, “The best thing to do is just moderation. So have some candy. I won’t lie; I might have some chocolate too. But then I go and I brush my teeth afterwards, and if you’re out and you can’t, a glass of water or an apple, that can be really good too. You just want to get that sugar level out of your mouth really quickly.”

But it’s not just the cavities candy can cause that you have to worry about. Dr. Sheffield says you need to be extra cautious about really sticky candy, like Starbursts, Butterfingers, Laffy Taffy, and caramels. They can damage teeth or previous dental work.

“Kids will come in and I’ll ask, ‘How did you break this tooth, or this filling or crown?’ And they say, ‘Well, I was chewing chewing gum’ or a Starburst. It’s usually those very sticky things. And we do review that when we place fillings and crowns for kids and adults,” she says, warning them that they need to be careful with those things.

She says, “The best advice I’ve heard for parents with the candy is, give us some–donate for the troops–and then also space out the candy ahead of time, so instead of having one big bag you have it spaced out and have it with meals. It’s the nibbling that keeps that sugar load in your mouth, and the bacteria love that, and that’s what makes the cavities.”

Here are the addresses of the Kool Smiles offices around the state:



Anderson – Main St

3112 N. Main St.

Anderson, SC 29621


Anderson – SR 28

629 Hwy 28 Bypass

Anderson, SC 29624


Greenville – Blue Ridge

3227 W. Blue Ridge Dr.

Greenville, SC 29611


Greenville – Mills Ave

3 K Mart Plaza

Greenville, SC 29605



5422 Forest Dr.

Columbia, SC 29206


North Charleston

4400 Dorchester Rd.

North Charleston, SC 29405



1350 Grove Park Dr.

Orangeburg, SC 29115


Rock Hill

2349 Cherry Road STE 49

Rock Hill, SC 29732



1121 Broad St.

Sumter, SC 29150

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