TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - There were smiles all around in Toledo, Friday as kids received free dental care.
This year the "Give Kids a Smile" program marked a major milestone this year, serving its 4,000th child.
After his turn in the dentist chair, fourth grader Bryce Majchszak and his family was given a bit of a surprise. The family was awarded gift cards to Kroger and Target, plus $1,000 in dental care for the family, among other prizes.
"Well this is really a big shock for us. Really unexpected," said Bryce's mom, Juliet Majchszak.
"When time's are tough and money is short, dental care is usually something that falls off the radar. So this is really a big help for us," added Dad David Majchszak.
Give Kids a Smile has been providing free dental care to the community for 15 years. Kids get everything from cleanings to root canals, free.
"If we can help those kids. Keep them out of pain. Provide them a service that they otherwise wouldn't be provided, we want to do that for them," said Dr. Tracy Poole with Dental Group West.
Dr. Poole said dental problems are actually the second-leading cause of kids missing school in the state of Ohio. Poole said if you see a dentist every six months, or at least once a year, potential problems can be addressed before it's too late.
"At least to go in and have an oral cancer screening, make sure there isn't any active decay that can turn into a cavity or tooth ache," said Poole.
The Majchszak's said thanks to programs like "Give Kids a Smile," they can make sure their kids have healthy mouths and in turn, healthy bodies.
"Your teeth are with you all your life and if you don't take care of them in the beginning, you may not have them in the end," said David Majchszak