Dentist’s trick can be treat and save teeth

Published 12:12 am Sunday, October 30, 2011

Most times when a dentist wants someone to make a visit, the news isn’t good. But on Tuesday, Vicksburg dentist Dr. Martin Chaney is offering money to visitors.

Last year, to rousing success, Chaney launched a campaign to collect Halloween candy, then send it overseas to American troops through the “Operation Gratitude.” To sweeten the deal, Chaney offered $1 per pound and a McDonald’s coupon for unopened candy.

McDonald’s, not the worldwide poster organization for healthy eating, does have some healthful choices, and every dollar in this economy counts. Last year, Chaney collected 58 pounds of candy from people ages 2 to 79.

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Following the old Christmas adage, it is better to give than receive.

We’re not even talking about parting with the entire loot. On Monday night in many Warren County neighborhoods, children will be scurrying house-to-house in pursuit of the almighty candy treasure trove. The act of dressing up, the walking up the sidewalk and the sweet “trick-or-treats” is worth something. The weather-guessers are predicting a cool, clear night for ghosts, goblins and a superhero or two.

In a long-ago childhood, returning home from a night of trick-or-treats was a special occasion. Dumping an entire bag of “free” candy onto the kitchen table, several piles began to take shape.

Pile A consisted of the big money bars — the full-size candy bars given out by the most affluent, or generous neighbors.

The 5th Avenues found their way into a second pile, the not bad pile.

In the third were the pennies, raisins, peanuts and hand-packaged envelopes of candy corn.

Had I put the healthy raisins in the “A” pile and given away the “big bars” maybe the physique would have turned out differently, but that’s a different story. No option such as Chaney’s existed way back then, but if it had the parents would have pushed the plan while the children bellyached a few hours before their bellies began to ache.

No one is asking to confiscate an entire night’s hard work (that is the federal government’s job), but entertaining the idea of making money should have kids thinking.

Keep some and donate the rest. Dr. Chaney’s office is at 3205 Wisconsin Ave. Candy will be accepted at his office on Tuesday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Dr. Chaney is putting his money where his mouth is. Let’s help bankrupt the good dentist.