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Dr. Michael Gardner, left, checks the teeth of Tyler Mealhouse, 11, during Give Kids a Smile. The program, hosted Friday by Rice Regional Dental Clinic, provided free dental screenings for children who might not otherwise have access to dental care. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

Dental professionals volunteer to help give youngsters a bright smile in Willmar, Minn.

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Tyler Mealhouse opened wide as Dr. Michael Gardner and dental assistant Kim Moline applied sealant to his teeth. Gardner kept up a steady stream of reassuring conversation as he worked.

"This isn't so bad, is it?" he asked the 11-year-old. "Let's put this right on there and we'll go over the back of the tooth."

He joked: "You sure you don't want me to put a New England Patriots de-cal on that?"

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Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at http://healthbeat.areavoices.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

(320) 235-1150
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