People finding their smile

In these tough economic times, people are pinching their pennies just to get by and often times; they neglect their health, especially their teeth.

Saturday, June 29, 2013 hundreds of people were able find their smile once again thanks to the generosity of one group of dentist.

The Texas Dentist Association Smiles Foundation hosted the Texas Mission of Mercy, where they provide people with free dental care who otherwise would not be able to afford it.

Dentist and chairman of TDASF, Richard Smith, said they are treating patients in the Panhandle who have no access to care.

"We try to get patients out of pain, take care of things to prevent pain, and in some limited cases we are replacing teeth," said Smith, "We are giving people an opportunity to be able to smile, go get a job, and be able to get out in the public and meet people."

The mobile dental clinic will serve nearly 800 patients this weekend with more than 200 community volunteers a day helping the dentists, coming from all over Texas.

Smith said, "This is the pay back we give for the blessings that we've had in our profession."

Several patients overcome with joy, shared that it's amazing how often we take a simple smile for granted.

Twenty-one-year-old, Sharae Aubin went to a bad dentist several years ago, where instead of receiving help, she lost her four front teeth.

She said it has been very hard for her to meet new people, without automatically being judged.

After waiting in line since one in the morning, to be one of the few to receive replacement teeth, Aubin will finally have her smile back.

"Being here today means I can smile in front of people," said Aubin, "Being so young, it means a lot to be able to come here and get this done for free. These people are really good people. I really appreciate this."

The Smiles Foundation also provided an educational area for children and adults with information on oral health and future dental care opportunities.