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‘Great day’ leads to smiles
Six dental offices participate in children’s event
All Smiles Dentist 5 es
As a thank you for the dental work, some children made cards. - photo by Emily Saunders
The smiles of more than 100 Forsyth County students were made bigger and brighter than ever Friday.

The children were selected to participate in the annual “Give Kids a Smile Day,” in which dentists across the country volunteer their time and services to work on the teeth of underprivileged kids.

Dentist Melissa Durand of Forsyth Dental Partners .said she and partners Brian Carpenter and Michael Palmer treated 11 of the children over the course of about four hours.

“Some of the kids had been to a dentist before, some had never been in their lives,” she said.

Her office manager, Diane West, said services provided to the children ranged from basic cleanings and X-rays, which they all received, to more major procedures like filling cavities and extracting bad teeth.

“Some parents came in too, so it was also a chance for us to give a lot of good home care knowledge in general,” Durand said.

Children who needed more extensive work were invited to come back to the office at a later date to finish the procedures at no charge, she said.

The office also provided the children with “goodie bags,” which included a toothbrush and toothpaste donated from the American Dental Association.

United Way of Forsyth County provided assistance and coordination for the event, along with local school system nurses who helped identify the children most in need.

“We wanted to assist with the local dentists to help get more people involved,” said Leigh Crow of United Way, who noted this was the first time the organization has helped with the event.

Their assistance apparently paid off, as six offices took part this year as opposed to just one, Advanced Dental Associates, which has participated for the past seven years.

Besides Advanced and Forsyth Dental Partners, other participating offices this year included Cumming Dental Care, Dentistry for Kids-Johns Creek, O’Rourke Family Dentistry and Smiles for Kids Pediatric Dentistry.

In addition, St. Brendan Catholic Church provided a few volunteers to serve as translators for non-English speaking students and their families.

“[The day] went wonderful, it went great,” Crow said. “All the kids were very excited. It really was a great day.”