A smile makes a difference for a teen in need

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A smile makes a difference for a teen in need

Thanks to National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy, Stephanie is receiving the treatment she needs to restore her smile. (DTI/Photos National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy)
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Wed. 21 November 2012


NEW YORK, N.Y., USA: With intelligence, ambition and a naturally outgoing personality, Stephanie seemed to have a bright future ahead of her. Unfortunately, there was something holding her back and casting a dark shadow over her incredible potential and aspirations of ultimately becoming a pediatrician. Her broken smile.

Her parents worked hard, but in spite of their efforts, there was never enough money to get Stephanie the treatment she needed to restore her smile.

She possessed the skills to achieve her dreams, but she didn’t have the confidence. She was so ashamed of the condition of her teeth that she hid her smile and shied away from interacting with others. Her shattered self-esteem placed a huge weight on her shoulders and slowly destroyed her dreams for a happy, successful future.

Tomorrow’s SMILES, a program of National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy (NCOHF), offered her hope. Sponsored by the Patterson Foundation and Philips Sonicare, this program provides at-risk adolescents with comprehensive oral health services to help prepare them for healthy and productive futures. Through this program, caring volunteer dentists provide pro-bono restorative services for a prescreened, underserved teen and have access to generously donated products from Invisalign and Nobel Biocare (including Procera).

“Changing the appearance of my smile would make a huge difference in my life,” Stephanie wrote in a letter to Tomorrow’s SMILES. “I am reaching out to you for help … with a better smile, I will have the self confidence I need to achieve my dreams.”

Dan, her guidance counselor, agreed. Recommending her for the program, he acknowledged her leadership potential and noted, “Stephanie is hardworking and goes above and beyond in all that she does.”

Upon acceptance into the program, Stephanie was matched with a caring dental professional. Thanks to Judith Chin, DDS, MS and the Indiana School of Dentistry, Stephanie is receiving the critical treatment she needs.

Restoring a smile for a teen in need is a gift that keeps on giving. Teens participating in the Tomorrow’s SMILES program Pay It Forward by delivering oral health education lessons to youth in their community. With new smiles and restored self-confidence, Tomorrow’s SMILES teens serve as mentors to young children and encourage them to practice good oral health behaviors.

No longer afraid to smile proudly, Stephanie is a confident, determined young woman who is enthusiastic about her future. Upon graduation, Stephanie plans to study pediatric nursing and later obtain her doctorate in pediatrics. With her love of children and desire to help others, she knows this is the perfect career choice for her.

You can help transform a teen’s needless pain and suffering into a beautiful smile and the promise of a happy, healthy future by volunteering for Tomorrow’s SMILES. Visit www.TomorrowsSMILES.org or email Jennifer Melton at jmelton@ncohf.org to volunteer to save a smile and change a teen’s life today!

(Source: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation: America’s ToothFairy)

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