PORTAGE, Mich. – Halloween may be behind us, but leftovers from the holiday are still in homes. But Dr. Susan Dennis DDS is helping protect kids from all that extra sugar while helping sweeten things up for our troops overseas.
Dr. Dennis participates in Operation Gratitude, a national program where dentists buy candy from kids for $1 a pound and send the candy to those who serve the nation.
“I just want to do this because it goes to a good cause,” said Kalynn Wight, a 10-year-old patient of Dennis. “And it makes the troops feel that we are thinking about them, and it reminds them about home.”
“It makes me feel good that they are happy and having a good feeling of home."
People also donated candy to Dennis' cause. In total, she sent out 325 pounds of candy.
“One year, this little guy brought in his biggest piece of candy, a giant Payday candy bar,” Dennis recalled. “And he said, 'I know it’s my favorite one, but I just know someone serving our country is going to want this treat. And I want to make that happen. They won’t know who I am but I just want that person to have a good day.'”
Tooth decay is a top dental problem among children, says one of Dennis' hygienists. While candy is nice to have as a treat, it's important to limit candy to prevent cavities.
“A lot of people just drop their candy off because they don’t want it hanging around their house,” Dennis said.