What these volunteers did will melt your heart and make you smile

A healthy smile can't be guaranteed if children don't get to the dentist regularly. A new report says 10 to 15 percent of Utahns live in areas with too few dentists. Photo credit: iStockphoto.com.

<p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Utah is making strides toward healthier teeth, with two separate benefits for children who need dental work. The annual Give Kids a Smile event donated over $100,000 worth of free dental work to children in need, and during the last week in March, dental students from the University of Utah will be able to assist in clinics for Sealants for Smiles at the “Love Utah, Give Utah” fundraising drive.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Dentists and hygienists from the University of Utah and the Utah Dental Association volunteered at the</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://fox13now.com/2015/02/28/free-dental-work-gives-underprivileged-kids-reason-to-smile/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Give Kids a Smile event</span></a><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>, using tools donated by Henry Schein Dental Supplies. Part of National Children’s Health Month, Give Kids a Smile provides free dental care to underprivileged children. Until recently, the event moved to various locations each year, but thanks to a generous donation by the University of Utah, will now be permanently housed in the Ray and Tye Noorda Oral Health Science Building.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“A lot of these kids have pretty bad mouths that are swollen and infected, and that’s our main focus is to control infection because they can’t focus in school, they can’t concentrate in school, and so by doing that it makes their life better,” James Williamson, director of the event, told Fox News.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Students who wish to volunteer for Sealants for Smiles’ event do not need to be enrolled in the University of Utah’s dental program.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>“We want students who care about others and have a willingness to make a real difference in the community,” Tyler Mikesell, Sealants for Smiles’ student community director, told the</span> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; font-style: italic; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Daily Utah Chronicle</span><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>. “It doesn’t matter if you are planning on going to dental school, you can make a lasting impact in the life of a child who relies on our service.”</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>Sealants for Smiles offers fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and oral exams to elementary school children who provide them with a signed permission slip. Because the treatments are not a suitable replacement for long-term care, parents are given information about local low-cost dental clinics.</span></p><p style=”line-height: 1.38; margin-top: 0pt; margin-bottom: 11pt;” dir=”ltr”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>When surveyed, 25% of adults reported that their self-esteem would</span> <a style=”text-decoration: none;” href=”http://www.planosmilestudio.com/how-cosmetic-dentistry-can-change-your-life/”><span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>receive a positive impact</span></a> <span style=”font-size: 12px; font-family: Verdana; color: #000000; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;”>if they could correct or change their teeth, and the effect is the same in children. Dental health is important for overall health and social well-being, so volunteer programs are crucial to the welfare of children everywhere.</span></p>

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