On Friday, the American Dental Association kicked off its 10th annual Give Kids a Smile program. Dentists all over the country are providing free dental care for uninsured kids, including in eastern Idaho.
The Willow Creek Dental Office in Idaho Falls has given free dental services to kids every February for the past four years.
A full lobby of excited kids waited their turn to meet Dr. Brandon Gordon, DDS.
"The program has been around ever since I've been in dental school," said Gordon.
Five-year-old Naomi read a couple of stories with her sister before she took her seat in the big dental chair.
"Most of them maybe haven't been to the dentist a lot, so they come in a little bit nervous, so we try to get them to have the best experience that they can,” said Gordon.
Gordon and his team worked on 25 kids Friday.
"Anywhere from a basic cleaning exam, to a checkup, filling, extractions, sometimes even a baby root canal which is called a pulpotomy,” he said. “We just try to do as much as we can while they're here."
With the help of cartoons, Naomi was able to sit still and let the dentists clean her teeth, show her how to floss and even take care of a few fillings.
Gordon said in addition to brushing twice a day, “it's important for parents to watch what their kids eat. Avoid sugar at night and not give babies bottles before bed,” which is basic dental education Gordon said would improve self esteem and overall health.
"It's nice to see the smile on their face when they come in,” he said.
Thirty-three clinics participate in the Give Kids a Smile program throughout eastern Idaho. See the list attached to the story under Related Content or http://goo.gl/Vr6BF.
Some of the clinics are offering services through the rest of the month.