Dentists give back to the community

By Morgan Chesky - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

You may have spotted a few extra smiles while you were out and about. Thanks to the American Dental Association about 100 Tyler students were treated to free teeth cleanings.

It is called "Give Kids a Smile Day" and we tagged along with one seven year old who said she was ready for her "mouth makeover."

When seven year old Ana Baldelamar arrived at the dentist's office, she had an idea of what to expect

"I think they're gonna pull my tooth out really hard," she said.

And she's not ashamed to say why.

"Candy canes and lollypops," she laughs.

"Give Kids a Smile Day" offers free cleanings for needy students.

"Its wonderful for these children to have access to dental care because many of them do not have access to dental care on a regular basis and we're very please to be able to see them here today," said Dr. Brandy Sweeney.

Volunteers from the American Dental Association dropped by the St. Paul's Dental Clinic to give these kids' chompers a good polishing.

"Its awesome they come in and they're just eager to get the work done they want to have a nice smile and we're happy to help them," said Stacy Nickerson an AMA volunteer.

When Ana finally got her turn, she walked to the back ready to face the music. She sat bravely in the infamous chair while the dentist gave the verdict: Two cavities. No problem for a good dentist or a certain seven year old! And was over. She smiled for the camera and got a pat on the head for a job well done.

"[The dentist was] really good he's good," she exclaimed.

Even if she forgot one little thing.

"I forgot what his name is," she wondered.

No worries Ana. Just enjoy those pearly whites

"Give Kids a Smile Day" has grown tremendously since it started in 2002. In fact, last year, more than 480 thousand children were treated at more than two thousand locations across the nation.