MIDVALE — It isn't just brushing and flossing that one Utah dentist is worried about. Dr. Ryan McNeil wants the world, or at least his community, to be a better place.

And he's not above offering an incentive to inspire such kindness and generosity.

"We all know that negativity will not improve a situation, but complimenting or rewarding a job well done will actually prompt more of those good activities," said McNeil, of Midvale Family Dental.

He's putting a brand new computer on the line as a prize for children and teens who do a good deed any day, up to May 25. Whether it is assisting the elderly with groceries or providing service to those less fortunate, McNeil wants doers to write about their experiences, and answer a few questions in a submitted essay about the good deed.

The written essay should include the deed, why it was chosen and how the individual felt after doing it.

Helping kids understand good choices and why they're important is one of the goals of the contest, but also to recognize them for the things that they do.

"We all have a vested interest in providing a stable foundation of moral values to our youngsters," he said.

A large portion of McNeil's patients are children or teens and he delights in seeing them make good choices. As a parent, he said there is no greater joy than knowing that his children are on the right path in life.

"People helping people have been one of the prominent strengths of our country," McNeil said. "During these hard economic times, the spirit of giving and helping is needed more than ever."

The contest is open to kids 18 and under. Essays can be submitted online, at

Twitter: wendyleonards