COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Kool Smiles, a leading provider of dental care in Columbus, is coordinating for the third year ‘Operation Troop Treats,' a program designed to give Columbus kids' teeth a post-Halloween break and U.S. troops overseas a sweet reminder of home.
Operation Troop Treats encourages children to bring their Halloween candy in to the Kool Smiles dental offices in exchange for a toy. The candy will then be sent in care packages to U.S. troops serving overseas via Operation Gratitude.
Over the past two years, Columbus children and families donated more than 50 pounds of candy to the local Kool Smiles dental offices.
"Operation Troop Treats is our way of reminding kids and parents about the importance of dental hygiene, especially around Halloween and at the same time provides the opportunity for kids to give back to our servicemen and women," said Kool Smiles Managing Dental Director for Georgia Dr. Diane Earle, DDS. "The influx of sugar-filled sweets this time of year can disrupt kids' healthy eating and good dental habits. We don't want to take the fun out of Trick or Treating – just the cavities!"
In addition to the exchange program, Kool Smiles is donating 100 dental care packages for troops, as well as the funds to cover the assembly and shipment of 200 care packages.
The Columbus Kool Smiles office is participating from Wednesday, Oct. 29 to Wednesday, Nov. 5 during open office hours. Every child that comes in can receive one toy for every 25 pieces of unopened candy in its original intended packaging.
The program is open to everyone, regardless of whether they are Kool Smiles patients. There is a limit of three toys per child and toys are distributed on a first come, first served basis. Kool Smiles offices are located at 4519 Woodruff Road, Unit 10 in Columbus.
Brushing twice daily and getting regular dental checkups is vital for people of all ages. However, Halloween is an especially important time for parents to pay close attention to their children's dental health. Good oral care can prevent avoidable and expensive procedures, as well as contribute to a child's overall health and wellbeing. Poor oral health, on the other hand, can lead to significant health issues later in life such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
For more information on the program please visit
or call (706) 660-8001.
About Kool Smiles
Kool Smiles is dedicated to creating a world of happy, healthy smiles. As a leading dental health provider, Kool Smiles' mission is to improve lives by providing high quality dental care in a fun, compassionate environment. Kool Smiles dentists are proud to offer care to kids and adults with almost any insurance plan, including State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP), Medicaid and Tricare. Kool Smiles also provides oral health education programs through partnerships with community schools and organizations. For more information, please visit
About Operation Gratitude
annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions,
, and to
. Operation Gratitude's mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member's face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 980,000 packages to American Military members.