Jennifer Stevenson, the dentist at All Smiles Family Dentistry in Cedar Falls, Iowa, has held an interesting Halloween treat at her practice for the last six years.
The day after Halloween, she holds a special day where the children can sell her the candy they have been given during the festivities, and in return she gives them money.
The staff at the practice, dental assistants and hygienists, all dress in orange T shirts, and once the children arrive they help them put their candy on the scales. The amount of money they receive depends on the weight of the candy, with a dollar for each pound in weight.
Stevenson says they have learned over the years that the children also like gifts as well as money, so this year they received a new toothbrush and a balloon.
The candy is donated to Operation Gratitude which then sends it to the U.S. troops who are abroad as part of care packages.
Some of the kids love getting the gifts and the money, which they enjoy more than the candy, but others, some of whom had up to eight pounds of candy each, found it more difficult to give it up, but acted on instructions from their parents.
Stevenson highlighted the downside of children eating too much candy, in that it can lead to tooth cavities and also obesity. She said that in moderation it was fine and went on to say that many parents were actually pleased that their children would not be eating so much due to Halloween.
It was easier for the children to be involved in the process of selling their candy and knowing it would be going to a good cause, than had the parents simply tried to take the candy away.