It happens once a year. 

Halloween. 

And that means another rarity: a candy dish is front and center in the office of Aurora Children's Dentistry in Anchorage. 

But only today of course. However, even those dedicated to the preservation of a child's dental health know today is a special day for many kids. 

Dr. Caitlin Barnes says moderation is key. After kids come back with their trick-or-treat haul, certain candies are better than others if you're hoping to avoid another visit to the dentist. 

"The stickier candies like your Laffy Taffy, Starburst, Skittles, things like that tend to contain substances that make them more sticky like dextrin or gelatin and those can actually set your teeth up at higher risk for cavities," she said. "Things like chocolates, things that melt in your mouth a little more quickly, those can actually be little bit on the more healthy end of the spectrum in terms of what causes cavities."

It's mostly the same for kids with braces. Gum is no-no and the stickier sweets are best avoided. 

"They can really cling to the hardware: the brackets, the wires, sometimes there's an expander. Trying to veer more towards the side of the dissolvable candies would be best," she said.

In the meantime, kids should stay in that habit of brushing. 

Barnes also recommends getting rid of the candy. Don't let it sit around where anyone — kids and adults — can get ahold of it. 

And of you need a good way to do that, don't take it to your office. Bring it to theirs. 

Aurora Children's Dentistry is initiating their first ever candy buy-back this year. For every pound of candy you bring in, they'll pay you $1. The dentist's office plans to send the collected candy overseas to our U.S. troops.  

Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.

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