gifts in action:

Mia's Story

After several days of complaining about pain in her teeth, *Mia’s first grade teacher sent her to the school nurse to take a look. She discovered tooth decay so severe that most of Mia’s teeth were broken down to the gum line.

Mia’s family had recently relocated to a small rural town in Southern Minnesota, where getting a dental appointment can be a real challenge, especially for low-income families. Thankfully, the nurse at Mia’s school knew about Apple Tree Dental, a nonprofit dental clinic that is accustomed to helping children like Mia, whose home life is not ideal. She worked with Mia’s mother to set up an appointment.

Upon examination of Mia’s mouth, the staff at Apple Tree determined that the majority of Mia’s teeth would need to be extracted as they were beyond repair and making Mia miserable. Those that could be salvaged would need treatment by a pediatric specialist. Mia’s family, however, couldn’t afford to pay for the specialist’s treatment.

That’s when Apple Tree reached out to America’s ToothFairy for help. As members of our Dental Resource Program, Apple Tree can apply for In the Gap grants to help children like Mia in need of care that is beyond their financial means.

“Having a healthy mouth sets a child up for a better, healthier, more productive future,” Mary Larkin, Development and Marketing Manager at Apple Tree noted in their request. “Without this dental care, the efficiency of Mia’s mouth will decrease and functionality will suffer. Being in constant pain will determine whether she is able to go to school to achieve her education. This will impact the rest of her life.”

Thanks to a generous donation from MGE: Management Experts, Mia has received the care she needed to be pain-free. Even better, she now has access to a dental home that can help her develop the habits she needs to prevent future decay.

“Apple Tree Dental is extremely grateful for our long term relationship with America's ToothFairy,” Mary continued. “This generous grant support to will help Mia and her family more than you can ever know. Both Apple Tree and her family send a huge thank you for your belief in our mission and work.”

Visit the In the Gap program page to learn more about helping kids like Mia.

*Patient's name has been changed to protect their privacy. Not all grantees have provided photos. In some cases, stock photos are used to represent a patient’s gender, age and ethnicity if known.

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