PGA Tour and mobile clinic team to keep kids smiling

Quad City kids are becoming healthier, one mouth at a time. Inside this 48-foot-long rolling dental clinic, dentists and their staffs are volunteering to treat 120 children for free through Wednesday.

“So many children go to school in dental pain and can’t learn,” said Diane Stigler, vice president of operations for Christina’s Smile. “They can’t think because all they’re thinking about is their toothache.”

That’s why Christina’s Smile literally fills in the cracks. After Dr. Richard Garza started the clinic in Texas in 1989, they’ve held hundreds of sessions all over the country. Partnering with the PGA Tour made it all possible. This is its seventh year at the John Deere Classic.

“It’s important for us to establish good dental habits,” said Dr. John Feehan, an East Moline dentist. “Making sure that their visits to the dentist are positive experiences. It really comes back to benefit us.”

The clinic will provide nearly $95,000 in free care during its stay in Rock Island. Appointments are completely booked. It’s an outreach from the PGA Tour that’s really helping kids to smile.

Kids like Oakland Perez. Dr. Feehan is doing some fillings and extracting two primary teeth.

“They’re not going to be having toothaches, missing school and not being able to sleep,” he said. “It’s just good for all facets of their life.”

One mouth at a time, creating healthier dental habits designed to last a lifetime.

“When they walk out the door, if its their first experience, they know the next time they go to the dentist, it will be a fun time,” Stigler concluded.

They’ll be ready to smile after visiting this caring clinic.

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