AU dental students bring out kids' smiles with free dental work

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Monday, Feb. 10, 2020
News 12 This Morning

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The first Friday in February is known as "Give Kids A Smile Day". It's when universities around the world team up to provide dental care to kids who need it.

Augusta University students served nearly 150 kids last week to celebrate the date because it's easier to smile than it is to frown, but it's not always easy to get to the dentist.

"Georgia is a very rural state. Most of the counties are health profession shortage areas," said Carol Lefebvre, the dean of the Dental College of Georgia. "So we have a shortage of not only dentists and physicians, but all healthcare professionals throughout the state of Georgia."

On Friday, Augusta University teamed up with three Augusta elementary schools to give more than 140 kids free dental care.

"They're getting their teeth cleaned. They're getting fluoride treatments, sealants. They're also getting restorations, teeth that need to come out, extractions, and also some stainless steel crowns. So full service dentistry."

They're also educating kids on the importance of dental care.

"They learn how to take care of their teeth, brush their teeth, floss their teeth, good nutrition so that we can start preventative too," explained Associate Professor Kandyce A'See.

The kids also got to hear from former Josey star and Super Bowl Champion Deon Grant. Grant's foundation teamed up with the dental school and came up with the slogan, "Be kind to your teeth and others".​

"Sometimes in life that's where the bullying comes from. They see something that's an imperfection and wanna make fun of the kid so if you can take care of that and just have the confidence that you're clean and you're feeling good about yourself it won't bother you," Grant said.

Giving kids confidence with a smile.

AU says they're wasting no time starting the planning process for next year. They'll start deciding what schools to help as early as later this week.

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