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Published: Friday, 11/4/2005

Kids' own candy sale

NOW that Halloween is over, guess who the trick's on: children whose sweet tooth could turn very sour.

All that sugary, gummy, sticky candy can damage children's braces, and an orthodontist in Mentor, Ohio, is trying to do something about it.

Dr. Kenneth Lawrence doesn't suggest kids trade their candy in for fruit. He knew that wouldn't fly. Instead, he decided several years ago to offer his young charges a dollar for every pound of candy they turn in. It worked.

Kids love trick or treating, and the best part is when they get home and spread all that candy out on the floor, put it in separate bags, then stash it so they can nibble on it for months to come. All the while, the sweets promote cavities and ruin braces, and upset parents who take the children for more expensive dental trips.

Give a high five to Dr. Lawrence. After Halloween last year, his patients turned in more than 80 pounds of candy. Judging by the steady success since he began, it's likely he'll get more this year.

What does Dr. Lawrence do with the candy he collects? He sends it to soldiers in Iraq. Hopefully, military dentists are standing by.

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