KALISPELL – Dentists around the state are teaming up with Sealants for Smiles to help kids keep their teeth healthy.
The program is a nonprofit that provides free dental care to vulnerable school-aged children. The program focuses on giving students sealants, a plastic film placed over teeth, to prevent cavities.
On Friday, Sealants for Smiles was in Columbia Falls visiting Glacier Gateway Elementary School. The program travels to different cities throughout Montana and partners with local volunteer dentists in whatever town they are visiting.
According to Dr. Jane Gillette with Sealants for Smiles, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Gillette tells MTN that nationally, 52 school hours are lost as children are pulled out of school for various dental emergencies. Sealant for smiles wants to cut that statistic by bringing the sealant service to schools.
Dentist Kurt Lindemann has been with the program for five years, and tells us how rewarding it is.
“Seeing the kids smile when they come in, and they get used to hanging out with us as dental professionals and understand that it doesn’t have to be painful. It doesn’t have to be scary. And in the end they’re healthier and they have a brighter smile,” Lindemann says.
Sealants for Smiles’ next stop will be in Great Falls.
Reporting by Maren Siu for MTN News