Leave it to a dentist to take all the fun out of Halloween candy.

I'm being a little facetious. I have to give these guys points for their creativity.

In the Twin Cities, a dentistry called Metro Dentalcare is sponsoring a day-after Halloween party and a "candy buy-back" program.

If you live anywhere around the Twin Cities, your kids are invited to come to the dentist the next day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., on November 1, which is a Saturday, and hand over their left-over candy for cash.

Kids 12 and under will get $1 per pound of candy (up to a total of five pounds). For this good deed, kids can claim essentially another Halloween celebration. They're encouraged to wear their costumes to the dentist office, where there will be games, healthy snacks, special prizes...and of course that free toothbrush!

And so what will these dentists do with the candy they collect? Fortunately, they aren't sending it to landfill, and, no, you can't write them and suggest you'll take the candy off their hands. They're giving it to the Ronald McDonald House, with the thinking that it'll wind up in the hands of kids in the hospital who weren't able to trick or treat.

There are three dentists' offices participating, and you can learn more by visiting Metro-Dentalcare.com. For the rest of us who live nowhere near Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, there are probably similar programs locally, we'll just have to be clever about how to Google find them. Check your local papers for information about participating local dentists.

Or you can choose to let your kids keep and plunder their own booty...as long as they hand over the caramels to you, since your teeth can take it. Maybe.

Geoff Williams is a freelance writer and the author of C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America (Rodale).

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