Maryland Dentists Pay Children for Halloween Candy


Bethesda Dental Specialties collects candy to donate to troops overseas.

Bethesda, MD – Dr. Wayne Hickory and Dr. Joseph Lopez are hosting their 1st annual Operation Candy Buy Back. At Bethesda Dental Specialties, their Maryland pediatric dentistry and orthodontics practice, they will be collecting unopened Halloween Candy and paying children $1.00 per pound for their donations. Afterward, Drs. Hickory and Lopez will donate all collected candy to Operation Gratitude, which provides care packages for deployed troops.

Operation Candy Buy Back offers patients and their families a chance to donate their Halloween candy, participate in a charity, and possibly save a cavity at the same time. While patients of the practice are able to buy candy whenever they please, the pleasure of eating a piece candy means much more to deployed troops. These deployed soldiers receive these donations and others through Operation Gratitude. Small gifts such as candy serve to remind the soldiers of all the people who are thinking of them. Drs. Hickory and Lopez are proud to participate in and sponsor a program that gives the troops a small comfort of home while they are abroad.

The event will take place at Bethesda Dental Specialties on November 1st, the day after Halloween, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dr. Hickory, a Maryland orthodontist, and Dr. Lopez, a Maryland pediatric dentist, both believe this event will simultaneously teach children to donate, give the children a little spending money, and lift morale for soldiers abroad. Bethesda Dental Specialties plans on making Operation Candy Buy Back an annual event at their practice.

About Wayne Hickory, DMD, MDS
Dr. Wayne Hickory is a graduate of Trinity College, Connecticut. He earned a masters degree in nutritional science at Boston University, School of Graduate Dentistry. Dr. Hickory went on to study at the University of Connecticut, School of Dental Medicine where he earned his dental degree (DMD) and his Master of Dental Science (MDS). He then participated in a three-year postdoctoral certificate program in Orthodontics at the Vrijie University, Amsterdam and the University of Maryland. Dr. Hickory has twenty years practice experience in orthodontics and also teaches orthodontic courses internationally.

About Joseph Lopez, DMD
Dr. Joseph Lopez is a graduate of the University of San Francisco and earned a Master of Public Health degree from The George Washington University with a concentration in Epidemiology-Biostatistics. After working at the United States Department of Health and Human Services in Rockville, MD, he earned his dental degree at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lopez then completed a two-year advanced pediatric dentistry Certificate program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has also served as a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lopez has been a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry since 2003.

To contact Bethesda Dental Specialties, visit their website at or call 301-654-3011. The center’s office is located at 4405 East West Hwy. Suite #102, Bethesda, MD 20814. The center’s Facebook page can be found at

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