By Christina Amano Dolan Editor
MECHANICSVILLE – A Mechanicsville dentist office recently joined other Virginia Dental Association members across the state in celebrating February as Children’s Health Month by hosting its own “Give Kids a Smile” event. to provide free dental care to local children.
Glowing Smiles Dentistry, located at 9097 Atlee Station Road in Mechanicsville, hosted the free event from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 5. The theme for this year’s event was “Candyland”, with staff wearing personalized t-shirts and each room decked out in fun decorations for the kids to enjoy. Children under 14 received free dental cleanings, checkups and preventive care, such as fluoride and sealants.
“Give Kids A Smile” is a program of the American Dental Association launched in 2003. The program was designed to ensure that children who typically cannot afford to see a dentist receive free oral care and quality.
According to the Virginia Dental Association website, approximately 7,000 dentists and 3,000 dental team members volunteer each year at “Give Kids A Smile” events to ensure children receive the dental care they need. they need all over the country. More than 6 million children have received free oral health services through the program.
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Dr. Nekki Soltanian of Glowing Smiles Dentistry said this was the first year his dentistry had organized “Give Kids A Smile”.
Soltanian is a recent graduate of the Nova Southeastern University College of Dentistry. After graduating in May, she then purchased the Mechanicsville practice from her father and has since begun to remodel dentistry.
Soltanian said she volunteered and helped plan various “Give Kids A Smile” events at dental school and wanted to carry the initiative into her new practice.
“When I did it in dental school, I just loved it,” Soltanian said. “I loved how happy the kids were. I loved seeing everyone coming together as a community and working together for such a great cause.
Soltanian said it was a “huge community effort” to organize the event, with various local businesses donating food and coffee to volunteers and dental providers donating gloves, dental tools , sterilization wipes and other supplies. Offices near the building purchased decorations, printed flyers and donated snacks and drinks.
The day was held in a fun and energetic family atmosphere, with staff, family, friends and other members of the Soltanian community volunteering their services for the day. Volunteers helped with dental services, patient registration, tool sterilization and more.
The event aimed to expose children to the dental clinic environment and the importance of oral hygiene in a child friendly environment.
“Dental care is usually the first thing to do, even just having someone look at your teeth, clean them, and offer preventative care,” Soltanian said. “And a lot of these kids don’t understand. And so one day they can come in and it’s a fun environment. It’s not scary.
Soltanian said patients were served on a first-come, first-served basis this year. Families registered their children and waited in their cars before being called for an appointment.
“I hope to do it every year,” Soltanian said. “And hopefully within a few years I will have the facilities and the means to do more treatments, like extractions, fillings and stuff like that.”
To contact Glowing Smiles Dentistry, visit their website: https://www.glowingsmilesdentistry.com/.