by Sunny Layne
CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) -- Health providers say childhood tooth decay is on the rise. One dentist decided to do something to help stop the negative trend, and at the same time start a positive one. Meet Doctor Jennifer Stevenson, someone you should know.
The sound of a drill usually fills All Smiles Family Dentistry in Cedar Falls.
But for one day, Dr. Stevenson and her patients turn all their attention to candy.
"The amount of decay in kids in the community is going up dramatically," she said. "So we thought this is a good way to get sugar out of children's hands, and put it to a better cause.
A few days after Halloween, Dr. Stevenson asked patients, especially the smaller ones, to bring in their candy.
In turn, patients get a dollar per pound.
And even better, the candy goes to Operation Gratitude, a program which sends holiday care packages to active duty military.
"He's fighting to keep our country free in Iraq," 8-year-old Ethan Cook said.
Cook feels especially close to the cause, his uncle is serving in the military.
On top of feeling good, and possibly fewer cavities, patients get a light-up tooth brush
A hidden benefit according to Stevenson, kids get a different perspective of the dentist.
"Money for candy, and also an emphasis on how candy isn't good for teeth," she said.
One sweet deal, without the sweets.
Doctor Stevenson says the children brought in about 200 pounds of candy, which is on its way to military troops through Operation Gratitude.
Reporter: Sunny Layne