SEASON 1: EPISODE 27 | Airdate: 5/21/2022
A public health dental hygienist with more than 40 years of experience, Terri Chandler helped get fluoride added to Clark County’s water, and in 2009, she founded Future Smiles, a nonprofit providing dental services to Southern Nevada’s needy children.
Nevada Week host, Amber Renee Dixon, is a board member of Future Smiles.
Chandler got her start in dental health because it combines science, engineering, artistry, and people.
Future Smiles started when another non-profit started three health centers on the campuses of three Southern Nevada schools. Chandler said there was a dental chair at one of the health centers. So, she and two colleagues decided to start offering a dental hygiene program through that health center.
It has grown and now offers dental health services on school campuses around Southern Nevada.
Future Smiles offers free education about dental hygiene. It also gives out dental hygiene kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. It also provides care for kids who need dental care. Chandler said dental health is often not considered when people and policymakers talk about getting funding to kids in need. She said basic needs like food and health care often come first but a lack of dental care can lead to larger problems, especially for children who might be in pain because of their teeth.