Halloween is the one night of the year that kids of all ages look forward to to get the biggest haul of candy that anyone can imagine! Once they get the biggest haul, then it's time to devour it all, but hopefully not all at once.

After all that candy is collected and kids start to eat their way through it, parents start to be concerned about their kids' oral health. The amount of sugar in that big haul can lead to cavities, missing teeth from the sticky candy and broken teeth from all the hard candy!

We're not saying don't let your kids eat their spoils, but do it moderately and at the same time, think about sharing the love with the troops serving our country overseas.

Area dentists this year are participating in a program where children can exchange some of their trick-or-treat candy for toys. Their donated sweets will be sent to troops overseas through the Operation Gratitude organization with the program called 'Operation Troop Treats.'

Here's what to do:

  • Go trick or treating
  • Set aside some candy for the troops
  • Visit a participating dentist and donate some candy
  • Receive a toy in return

Children may donate a portion of their big haul by dropping it off during normal business hours at any of the following participating locations in the Concho Valley:

  • Kool Smiles - San Angelo
    4403 Sherwood Way

Candy will be accepted through normal business hours through Saturday, November 3. All toys given out through Kool Smiles is on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to three per person. In addition, Kool Smiles will be donating 200 dental kits for deployed service members and covering the cost of 200 additional Operation Gratitude care packages. If you would like to send a care package to a service member, visit Operation Gratitude!

Happy Halloween everyone and cheers to no cavities and safe return of our troops!