Kool Smiles, a leading provider of quality dental care in Houston, is coordinating for the fifth year ‘Operation Troop Treats’, a program that helps give kids’ teeth a post-Halloween break, while giving U.S. troops serving overseas a sweet reminder of home. Operation Troop Treats encourages children and their families to visit one of the two local Kool Smiles dental offices from Friday, Oct. 28 through Saturday, Nov. 5 to exchange their Halloween candy for toys. The donated candy will be sent in care packages to U.S. service members stationed overseas via Operation Gratitude.

“Operation Troop Treats is our way of encouraging children and parents to maintain healthy dental habits this Halloween, while also bringing a little bit of holiday joy to U.S. service members deployed overseas who are not able to celebrate with family here at home,” said Kool Smiles Managing Dental Director Dr. Diane Coopwood-Earle. “Good dental health is especially important around Halloween when there’s plenty of sugar-filled sweets floating about. We want to make Trick-or-Treating fun – just without the cavities!”

In addition to Operation Troop Treats, Kool Smiles is donating 200 dental care kits for service members stationed abroad, as well as the funds to cover the assembly and shipment of 200 care packages.

“We’re extremely grateful for the sacrifices made by American servicemen and women and their families. That’s why we eagerly partner with Operation Gratitude each year – an organization annually producing more than 200,000 care packages for U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, their children left behind, Wounded Heroes, Veterans, New Recruits and First Responders,” said Dr. Coopwood-Earle. “This is a great way for local families to give back to our troops serving abroad, while also maintaining good dental habits at home during the Halloween season.”

The Houston area Kool Smiles offices are participating from Friday, Oct. 28, through Saturday, Nov. 5, during regular office hours. Every child that comes in can receive one toy for every 25 pieces of unopened candy in its original 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 the following addresses:

  • Kool Smiles – Houston-Aldine—3840 Aldine Mail Road, Houston, TX, 77039; ph# 281-940-1301
  • Kool Smiles – Houston-Antoine—5341 Antoine Drive, Houston, TX,  77091; ph#: 713-574-9916

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 and sugar intake.

According to new guidelines from the American Heart Association, experts recommend children consume less than six teaspoons of added sugars per day, which is equivalent to 100 calories or 25 grams.

“Sugar creates a breeding ground for harmful bacteria in the mouth, which wear away at tooth enamel and create cavities,” Dr. Coopwood-Earle explained. “Reducing the frequency of sugar intake is not just good for your children’s teeth – it’s good for the whole body.  In addition to keeping cavities at bay, limiting the amount of sugar children eat and drink can also lower their risk of developing other health problems, like heart disease, obesity, and Type II diabetes.”

Good oral healthcare – including a well-balanced diet – 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 and costs later in life.

For more information on the program, including the nearest Kool Smiles location, please visit http://www.mykoolsmiles.com/trooptreats.

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