Utah Jazz, TeamSmile partner to provide underprivileged kids with free dental care

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah jazz and volunteers helped give a few hundred kids a brighter smile Thursday.

It was part of "TeamSmile,” which provides underprivileged students in the Salt Lake City School District with free dental care. The group also provides similar services in partnerships with other professional teams across the U.S.

More than 300 kids participated Thursday, and they got a free check-up and cleaning. Those who needed them also got free X-rays and fillings.

The goal is to help them understand that dental health is important and doesn't have to be scary.

“Obviously, we're in the arena, so it's a little bit of a different setting than most dental offices, so we try to make it a fun environment,” said Gina Calvert, a spokeswoman for Larry H. Miller Sports and Entertainment. "We don't want them to be afraid, we want them to come in and understand that what they're getting done is important for their overall health, and we want to make it in a fun environment."

About 100 dentists and hygienists volunteered their time Thursday. This is the second year in a row the Utah Jazz have sponsored an event for TeamSmile.