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Event brightens smiles free of charge

Children, ages 3 to 18, participated in the Give Kids A Smile program at DCTC Saturday.

Sitting in a chair, mouth wide open, isn't the most fun way to spend a Saturday. But for 36 children in Dakota County that was at least part of their day. Dakota County Technical College hosted its annual Give Kids A Smile event Feb. 2.

DCTC students current and past as well as a clinic dentist and school instructors volunteered their time to provide free dental care to the children ages 3 to 18. Some of the children came in for routine cleanings while others had cavities filled, sealants applied or fluoride treatments administered. By seeking the care, all helped insure their health, said dental assisting instructor Diana Sullivan.

Sullivan said DCTC is one of the only dental assisting programs to participate in the annual Give Kids A Smile program.

Give Kids A Smile is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association. According to the ADA's website more than 400,000 children received dental care nationwide on Feb. 2 through the volunteer effort.

Sullivan said Give Kids A Smile is a great event that benefits both the students and the children who receive care. She said DCTC dental assisting students get hands on experience and the children get basic dental care free of charge.

"It's just a really unique experience. The students get to do real stuff on real people," said Sullivan. The program serves people who are underserved and might otherwise have to go without dental care.

Dental assisting student Karin Mosbarger said she believes the program does a lot of good. She said they have a number of repeat patients who come in proud to report that they've been taking care of their teeth for the past year.

"I think it's wonderful. I love working with the kids," said Mosbarger.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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