Santa Barbara-based Johnson Family Dental and the dental offices of Dr. Lloyd Suzuki & Dr. Karen Lin, D.D.S., will host their annual Halloween candy buybacks this week to support troops overseas.

Trick-or-treaters are invited to bring their unopened candy to the centers and receive $2 per pound for up to five pounds. The offices will donate the sweets to Operation Gratitude — an organization that annually sends 100,000 care packages to U.S. Service Members — to provide troops with moral support.

According to Johnson Family Dental Regional Manager Mary Madden, the event promotes oral hygiene among local youth.

“We try to encourage kids not to eat candy and support troops overseas,” Madden said. “It also gives us a presence in the community.”

Johnson Family Dental’s Santa Barbara, Ventura and Solvang locations will accept candy leftovers today through Friday. The offices, which gathered 325 pounds of treats last year, will accept candy collections from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will include a raffle drawing for iPod Nanos for children one to 13.

The 2nd annual Great Halloween Candy Buy Back Day at the offices of Suzuki and Lin will accept surplus sweets today and tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m.

Office Manager Jan Dregoz said candy hoarders of all ages are encouraged to participate.

“Younger kids get goody bags but older people can bring in their candy also,” Dregoz said. “You just bring it in and we weigh it and put it in a big box that we send out.”

The annual trade-in promotes the health of local youth and of our deployed troops, according to Dregoz.

“We do it so kids don’t eat so much candy and get as many cavities as they do,” Dregoz said. “All candy is donated to Operation Gratitude for troops overseas … and we donate a lot of toothbrushes and toothpaste to send overseas as well.”

The Santa Barbara Johnson Family Dental is located at 200 N. La Cumbre Rd. and the dental offices of Suzuki and Lin are at 122 S. Patterson Ave.