Dentistry supporting troops with a sweet tooth

By BEN JOHNSON / Special to the Reporter

NORTH SHELBY – The last thing a dentist wants to see is someone with a lot of sweets; however, candy is exactly what Caldwell Crossing Dentistry is asking from its patients.

The dentist office is taking part in Candy for Our Troops, a candy drive for armed forces overseas, and is asking the public to bring in their Halloween candy to help encourage U.S. troops.

Candy for Our Troops is a drive hosted every year by Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that focuses on sending care packages to active service members, veterans and first responders.

This is the first time Caldwell Crossings has taken part. The idea came from one of the hygienists, Richann Stage, who has worked in the office off-and-on for 11 years.

“Each year our offices dress up for Halloween,” Stage said, “So we were all sitting around thinking that if we’re all dressing up and having fun, why not do something? We’ve never collected candy before, so we thought, ‘Why not?’”

Stage said she suggested Candy for Our Troops because it was a good way to give back to those in service while also helping the health of their patients.

“It encourages our patients to turn in excess candy that is bad for their teeth while also doing something good for people who deserve it,” she said.

In order to encourage participation, the office decided to have a candy swap as part of their drive. After Halloween, anyone can drop off candy at the office and their names will be entered into a raffle. Raffle prizes range from gift certificates and cards to a Sonicare toothbrush.

Stage said she hopes the prizes will spur people on to donating to the cause.

“It’s an incentive to the public to get more people to enter,” she said.

The drive is open to the public. Caldwell Crossing Dentistry is located at 4516 Valleydale Road in Birmingham.

The office will begin accepting donations on Nov. 1 and will continue until Nov. 14. After that, the raffle winners will be chosen and the office will ship the candy off to Operation Gratitude, who will then send it to overseas troops.