ZUMBROTA – Midwest Dental on Main Street in Zumbrota hosted “Give Kids a Smile Day” on Friday, February 6, from 8 a.m. to noon. They saw about twenty kids before 10 a.m.
The American Dental Association began Give Kids a Smile program in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. The program initially began as a one-day event in February, but has since grown to local and national events year-round. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time and services to provide screenings, treatments, and education to children throughout the United States. Each year, approximately 350,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers.
In 2014, fifty-six Midwest Dental, Mountain Dental, and Merit Dental offices participated nationwide. This included 74 dentists and more than 260 team members from those practices. More than $210,000 was donated in dental services for the roughly 630 children served last year.
“It is important for kids to learn the importance of brushing and basic care of their teeth,” said Dr. Andy Christensen of Midwest Dental in Zumbrota. “The big thing is to also watch what they are snacking on, especially limit sugary foods and drinks.”
The Minnesota Dental Foundation estimated that during Minnesota’s Give Kids a Smile event, February 6-7, more than 5,000 children, including some college students, were helped by this free care.