KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A dentist appointment to remember. Team Smile has partnered with the Chiefs to host their annual Oral Health Care Day in Kansas City.
The event provided dental care and education to over 400 children from underserved communities, some of whom have never received dental services.
It was a dental tailgate party Tuesday at Arrowhead Stadium, complete with a DJ, dancing and football games for the kids.
Dr. Bill Busch, alongside former Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt, established the Team Smile dental clinic. They team up with professional sports teams across the country to provide free dental care to hundreds of children each year, which amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“With Team Smile, I think if you shock them by making it fun and easy, you can have a lifetime of success with their oral hygiene,” Busch said.
Liz Gonzales is a student in the Independence School District. She had a chipped tooth for three years. Dr. Busch fixed it – just in time for the ride home. They also gave him a filling.
“I was really, really excited about it because I wanted to get my tooth fixed before I had to take senior photos,” Gonzales said.
Team Smile started in 2007. Since then they have helped 50,000 children receive free dental care. It’s safe to say the program took off – just like Jerick McKinnon with a soccer ball.
“At one point in my life, I was that young person,” McKinnon said. “So being able to be that shoulder that young people can lean on and look up to and look up to is definitely that important key.”
Chiefs players like Justin Reid, Chad Henne and James Winchester signed autographs and encouraged nervous kids to sit in the dentist’s chair. Thus, doctors can tackle cavities and dental plaque.
“Which could be a scary environment for these kids coming in for maybe their first dental appointment,” James Winchester said. “It’s very relaxed, fun. and it helps.
“If we can do this for a kid and save some teeth, when he grows up he’ll have his teeth,” Busch said, “that’s a big step for him to be successful.”
The nonprofit organization also announced a new partnership with Denta-Quest on Tuesday – connecting participating children to a primary dentist for further treatment.
Chiefs players remembered their own time in the dentist’s chair as kids.
“I’m kind of the kid who would fall asleep in the chair,” Winchester said.
McKinnon enjoyed going to the dentist growing up.
“I think I was pretty happy because I always had to leave with extra toothbrushes and stuff. I’m still the same and I’m 30,” McKinnon said. inside, they didn’t like it too much today, so I tried to help them overcome the fear.
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