NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Titans teamed up with the dental care nonprofit, TeamSmile, providing youth in need teeth cleanings and preventive care Tuesday at LP Field.
The organization provides complimentary oral health assessments and treatments in a fun and non-threatening environment to children in need with hopes of educating them on the significance of good dental hygiene.
With the help from several local dental professionals and volunteers, using state-of-the-art dental equipment and material, the participating children received care ranging from simple teeth cleaning to an actual root canal. The process of each visitor included triage, x-ray, treatment, preventative care, and education.
One of the volunteer dentists who played a vital role obtaining dental professional volunteers was Tennessee Titans team dentist, Dr. Cristin McPherson-Lewis of BiTE Dentistry.
"This is such a worthy charitable effort that we at BiTE Dentistry were thrilled to be involved with," said Dr. McPherson-Lewis. "We're thankful for the folks at TeamSmile for bringing this program to Nashville to serve area youth in need. It's definitely a team effort, and we couldn't do this without the many dental professionals throughout the city that stepped up to donate their time and service. It's also a treat for these children to meet a few Titans players and cheerleaders."
Players stopping by included running back Dexter McCluster, who is very familiar with group and worked with the TeamSmile during his four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"I started last year with TeamSmile in Kansas City and it was a great thing for the nonprofit to start an event here with the Titans," said McCluster. "It's good for the kids. They get a chance to meet us and get some dental work and have a good time. Overall it's a great experience."
In addition to McCluster, Jackie Battle, Beau Brinkley, Michael Griffin, Leon Washington, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and kicker Ryan Succop all came by to visit with the children. Succop was also familiar with the nonprofit from his time spent in Kansas City.
"It's a great opportunity for us to get involved and mingle and hangout with a lot of kids from the community and provide them with dental healthcare," said Succop. "A lot of our health starts with our mouth, so it's really important to have a healthy mouth, and the fact that we can help is great for the community and the Titans."
The Titans teamed up with the dental care nonprofit, TeamSmile, providing youth in need teeth cleanings and preventive care at LP Field. (Photos: Joshua Love)
The children were also able to meet and take pictures with Titans Cheerleaders. The ladies brought their own smiles and encouraged all of the youth who were a bit afraid of sitting in the dental chair.
By the end of the day, TeamSmile was able to provide dental care for a number children of various backgrounds, from all across Nashville-Davidson County. TeamSmile Executive Director Kellie Reneau Jardon was excited about the first effort in Middle Tennessee and believes in the organization's mission of partnering with professional sports organizations.
"TeamSmile is proud to host a dental clinic with the Tennessee Titans," said Jardon. "They too believe that the power of sports can be a good influence on children to make them feel dental care is an important part of their life."
After every visit each parent was given information regarding follow up care. They were also given the TeamSmile's executive director's phone number if they need any help finding a "dental home" for their children to provide the needed dental care from little to no cost.
TeamSmile is a 501C nonprofit dental organization. Its mission is to create connections between children's service groups, dental professionals, professional sports organizations and their athletes. Together, the organization can provide underserved children in need a life-changing dental experience in which the excitement and allure of high profile sports reinforces the value of a life-long commitment to dental health care. Each child in the program is provided with free preventative care and education, and if necessary dental treatment.
To read more about TeamSmile and their efforts please visit www.TeamSmile.org.