WATERVILLE — A Waterville orthodontist is putting his money where your mouth is. This year, trick-or-treaters can bring their Halloween candy to Charles J. Ruff DMD, PA, and receive $1 for each pound they collect. The candy will then be shipped overseas to the troops with the help of Operation Gratitude (opgratitude.com). Ruff, an orthodontic specialist in central Maine, is heading this anti-decay movement by giving away dollars and other gifts to the children who participate as well as the adults accompanying them.

According to a press release, Ruff said “offering the buy-back program provides several important benefits. Sticky or hard candy is real a problem to orthodontic patients. Not only do patients run the risk of decay and cavities because of too much candy but there is a significant increase in broken braces in the two weeks following Halloween. This breakage leads to longer treatment times and no patient wants that to happen. And as a veteran myself, it provides my team and I a simple way to support the troops overseas and it gives us a chance to show our soldiers that they are in our thoughts and that we appreciate the sacrifices they make to keep us free.”

The candy will be collected at the 12 Park St. office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Popcorn and cider will be available along with games for the kids to play and win prizes. A letter-writing station will be onsite for those who’d like to write a letter to the troops overseas.

The candy must be in its original package, unopened. Ruff will donate toothbrushes and toothpaste to send with the candy and letters to the troops.

For more information, call 873-7425 or visit smiles4me.com.

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