Dentists to reduce cavities for a cause

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Walla Walla Dental Group plans to cap off the Halloween festivities with a candy drive for the troops.

The fifth annual “Great Halloween Candy Buy Back” will reward trick-or-treaters who return at least a pound of their candy to the dental offices with a $5 gift certificate to downtown Walla Walla toy store Inland Octopus. Candy can be dropped off at 2012 S. Howard St. between Nov. 5 and 9.

The collection has a dual purpose. Not only will the buy-back program help decrease the amount of sugary sweets consumed by local children, it will also provide treats for care packages for U.S. troops overseas, according to an announcement.

Last year the two practices that made up Walla Walla Dental Group — Walla Walla Dental Care and Basic Dental Care of Walla Walla — collected more than 120 pounds of candy, which was all donated to the troops. This year, with Stone Creek Dental Care also joining the sweets syndicate, the goal is to collect more than 150 pounds, said Dr. Dan Laizure of Walla Walla Dental Care.

Dr. John Gantz of Basic Dental Care of Walla Walla said the move also helps make an important step to reduce sugary intake at a time of year when physical activity may be more seasonally limited.

First time participant Dr. Patty Martin of Stone Creek Dental Care said she is “amazed” at the amount of candy that has been brought through the program over the last five years. “I am from the west side of the state and there are few dental practices that are able to generate the type of excitement and community support that this group does,” Martin said.

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