Meet Sandie, the winner of the next Giving Smiles, Creating Hope nomination!
We received multiple nominations to help her smile. Here’s an excerpt from one of them:
“I don’t know anyone more deserving to get their smile back than Sandie DeHamer. I have known Sandie for over 40 years. She is always the cheerleader for anyone needing encouragement, always the first to volunteer to help any way she can for someone in need. Now it is her time of need.
I am not sure how it happened since Sandie rarely talks about herself and never complains. But I notice she has been covering her mouth when she smiles and it looks like she has a broken tooth. I imagine she meant to get it fixed before her world started to turn upside down.
Being a Realtor the last several years has been difficult. I know. But for Sandie, the last few years has been one heartbreaking event after another. She lovingly cared for both her dad then her mom when they fell ill and one after another passed away within a few months. Shortly after, her husband was hospitalized with pneumonia and is now facing some major life health challenges himself. Sandie never complains. She is like an angel. The only way you knew what she was going thru was because she would ask for prayers for her loved ones facing the major life challenges. She has a faith so strong and love for God so deep, it is truly an inspiration.
Please help our angel get her smile back! She will take that smile and share it with the world, bringing hope to so many with that gift. It is just who she is.
All the best,
Jan Norton Fairchild”
Another nomination Sandie received:
“Dear Dr. Dykstra and Staff,
I am writing on behalf of the letter I received in the mail, 2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope. What a wonderful idea!
I am writing on behalf o my precious wife Sandie.
I can not think of anyone who is more deserving and in need of getting her smile back.
She came to your office last year for a teeth cleaning. It was the first time in over 2 years that she had been to the dentist. I brought her in, along with her mom for “moral” support since she has a fear of dental offices.
Her last 12 months have been full of taking care of her dad and mom, myself, my brother and her mom’s brother, who she has Power of Attorney for.
She received a phone call last year from her dad stating he and mom were in St. Mary’s Hosplital. Her mom had just had a massive stroke. It was touch and go for awhile, but her mom was stabilized and transferred a week later to Mary Free Bed for a long course of rehabilitation. She had lost the ability to walk and talk. Sandie’s family has a very strong faith. They were in this for the long haul. Sandie was a nurse for 22 years, so we the family relied on her heavily to advocate for her mom’s medical care and needs.
A week later while Sandie, myself and her dad were visiting her mom at Mary Free Bed, her dad started coughing and had a severe shortness of breath episode… he could hardly walk. Sandie ran to get a wheel chair for him. Being a former nurse, her first thought went to pneumonia since it was cold and flu season, and her dad had a history of getting pneumonia in the winter months. Against her dad’s objections, Sandie wheeled him over to St. Mary’s Emergency room from Mary Free Bed leaving a very worried mom behind who could not voice her fear. Long story short, he was admitted to the hospital that night with what they thought was a very bad case of pneumonia. Sandie asked for a secondary specialist she knew to come in and take a look at her dad. After reviewing the x-rays, a biopsy was suggested. The biopsy came back as Stage IV lung cancer with maybe 3-6 months for her dad to live. Devastating news! Her mom in Mary Free Bed with at least a year of rehab and her dad with terminal lung cancer.
Two weeks after that diagnosis, I got very sick and ended up being admitted to St. Mary’s for pneumonia. Now she had 3 loved ones in the hospital. 1 month after that my brother Pete was hospitalized for pneumonia… now she had 4 of us.
The rest of her year was equally as bad. Her dad ended up going home to Heaven March 16th. His one year anniversary is this Saturday. Her mom came to live with us for 8 weeks after being discharged from the hospital. She had another massive stroke and God called her home May 18th. I have been in the hospital 3 more times since last year for pneumonia and the flu virus.
She gave up working as a full time Realtor last January when her dad and mom were admitted to the hospital. We decided it was more important for her parents to have their daughter with them. She was in the hospital a total of 112 days last year with all of her loved ones, staying the night, going home long enough to get a change of clothes and shower. She was her mom’s BEST cheerleader at all of her therapy sessions, cheering her on for everyone else to hear. She even became other patient’s cheerleaders when they had no one there to encourage them. It was a blessed year for both her parents and her, since precious time was spent together before God took them Home.
The long and short of this letter is to nominate her for the Giving Smiles and Creating Hope.
Sandie has no health insurance or dental insurance being a Realtor. We do not have the funds for her to have either. She is a diabetic so I worry about that the most, but she takes good care of herself and checks her sugars daily.
She cracked her tooth last year and has not had the money to have it repaired. She did have one tooth pulled about 3 months ago because the pain was so bad. The office you referred us to was full of grace and mercy and charged her the minimum fee.
I want her to be able to smile again without being self conscious and covering her mouth. She has such a beautiful smile with her dimples.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider my wife for this incredible gift that you are giving.
Sandie will be receiving over $5000 in free dental work to give her back her smile!
Courtney is the winning patient of our first round of Giving Smiles, Creating Hope! Here’s the nomination we received from her aunt:
“My name is Susan and I am one of your current patients. I would like to nominate my niece Courtney for dental care who cannot afford it! Courtney is a young 26-year-old single widow whose husband passed away just over a year ago. Courtney is the mother of three children. Courtney has no home and is currently living with her parents, working on getting disability to this point, but no income, lost her medical insurance coverage, and went over a year ago to see a dentist who told her she has several cavities, but she had no way to pay for the dental repair to her teeth. Courtney has shared with me her teeth hurt really badly at times, but without any money, she cannot afford to have any dental work performed. Life has been so hard on my niece, she really deserves a break! Please have mercy on my niece, and seriously consider her for helping her and take some pain away from her life. Thanks for taking the time to read this note; Courtney could really use your help.”
Courtney has been in our office a couple of times now and we’ve started on her treatment! She will be receiving over $6000 in dental care to get her mouth back into fantastic shape. We’ll keep you posted as her treatment continues!
If you haven’t heard about our Giving Smiles, Creating Hope program, we encourage you to read about it below! You can also watch the YouTube video Dr. Dykstra made talking about it.
We have received tons of nominations already but are still accepting more!
Giving Smiles, Creating Hope
You HAVE to read this story! (But get a tissue first, because you just might cry!)
A few weeks ago, in mid-December, one of our wheelchair-bound patients came in to make a payment on his long-overdue bill. While he was about to pay, another patient of ours was waiting for her sons to finish their dental appointments. From the conversation between him and the receptionist, it was evident that he had had a few rough months between his car breaking down and other things that came up. She stepped up and paid his entire $151 bill! They didn’t know each other, and he first refused her help, but she simply said “Merry Christmas, I’ve got this.”
He shared this with us on our Facebook page later that day: “First time I almost cried at the dentist ….in a long time…and you know me…”the mayor of jibber jabber” first time I was speechless… your office is not only staffed and runby the nicest / understanding people in Gods wonderful world… you also have the kindest clients ever…ever…ever… if you can find it in your heart to put up with me..you have a loyal client for life.”
Needless to say, all of us became a bit teary-eyed when we were told about this wonderfully generous event that took place right in our office.
2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope
This also gives us a great way to introduce to you our 2013 Giving Smiles, Creating Hope mission. Starting in January, we are going to select a deserving patient to provide with free dental work! The goal will be to get one patient back to a healthy condition and then select another so we always have one ongoing.
BUT – In order to do this, WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We are asking you to nominate someone in need of dental care who simply cannot afford it for one reason or another and really deserves a break. This person could just need a cleaning, a filling, or a whole new smile! We ask you to share their story either by email, Facebook, or written letter. The best story will be selected and that patient will receive dental care by our office.
Feel free to share this opportunity with your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. All nominations will be accepted! You do not need to be a current patient to send in a nomination, or be a patient to be nominated!
The first round of nominations is due January 31, so send in your nomination immediately!
Please call us with any questions! 616-669-6600
How to Nominate Someone:
·Your nomination can be either written or on video.
·Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
·Share on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HudsonvilleDentalAssociates
It’s August, and that means just a few weeks before school starts up again! Here are a few tips for this school year!
Top Ten Teeth Tips for Back to School
Teaching your kids good dental hygiene habits early on will not only ensure their oral health, reducing dental bills, but also their overall health! Help them get an A+ on their next dental report card:
1.Bring your child to the dentist at least twice per year. Keeping the mouth healthy is very important. Toothaches in kids can cause them to miss school, which is never a good thing!
2.Let your child choose his or her own toothbrush as long as it’s the proper size and soft bristled, it makes for a more enthusiastic brusher! Replace a toothbrush when it’s worn, bristles splayed, or after an illness. NEVER share a toothbrush.
3.Kids are sensitive to strong flavors and usually dislike adult toothpaste. Finding a flavor of children’s toothpaste they like will be trial & error but worth it in the long run.
4.Using a 2 minute tooth brushing timer will help to keep track of the time and make sure they’re brushing for the recommended two minutes three times each day.
5.Pack a nutritious lunch & snack. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and cheese are great choices. Cheese, like aged Cheddar, Swiss, and Monterey Jack, is especially good for teeth because it neutralizes acids. Avoid fruit juices & sodas because they are very acidic and erode tooth enamel. Also avoid foods that are sticky or chewy because they will cling to the tooth surface, allowing the bacteria in plaque to produce more acid.
6.It’s unlikely that kids can brush their teeth after lunch. But a quick trip to the water fountain to rinse their mouths is almost as good!
7.Floss picks make flossing easier for kids and come in fun flavors. Find one they like and the battle is almost won! If you can’t get your kids to floss twice a day, make sure they floss before going to bed.
8.Have your child wear a mouthguard while playing sports. Protecting teeth during contact sports is very important to avoid broken or loose teeth.
9.If your child gets hurt on the playground or bumps or breaks his or her teeth, call your dentist right away! Some dental emergencies should be treated immediately to avoid long-term consequences.
10.If your kids do chew gum, choose gum with xylitol in it, which can actually help prevent cavities from forming!
So summer seems to be charging ahead with full force. It’s been a hot one, and we hope you’ve been able to get out and enjoy it!
We know you’re busy with summer activities like camping, going to the beach, family vacations, etc. but we urge you to always remember your teeth too!
As we head into August, keep in mind that this is a great time for your dental exam and cleaning! Call us before we head into fall where schedules get more hectic with school, sports, and other activities.
Here’s a photo of our sign on one of the hottest days this summer!
If you’re a little nervous or anxious about your dental appointment, you don’t have to be! We offer nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, to any of our patients who want to try it. There is no fee for this, we just want you to be as comfortable as possible!
What is it? Nitrous oxide is a gas which you can breathe in and out. It is colorless, sweet smelling, and non-irritating. The best part is that it means safer, quicker, and more comfortable dental care for you!
Nitrous oxide allows you to relax, which can greatly reduce the fear, nervousness, and tension associated with dental procedures. You do, however, remain in complete control. You are fully conscious and can follow directions easily. While you may not burst out laughing, you should feel very relaxed and comfortable.
It works very fast! Nitrous oxide reaches the brain in about 20 seconds, and it only takes about 2-3 minutes to completely relax.
The amount of sedation can be changed very easily, by turning the amount of nitrous up or down. The effects are almost instantaneous. Other forms of sedation have more of a fixed duration of time because the effects of pills or IV sedation have a specific amount of time needed to run their course. Nitrous can be administered only when needed and turned off as soon as the procedure is done.
When we do turn off the nitrous, we will then switch it to all oxygen. The nitrous dissipates very quickly and you are able to go right back to your daily activities, such as work or school.
Yes, you read correctly, we are giving away an iPad to ONE lucky patient.
We will be holding a drawing on October 1st for this fantastic prize to be won by one of our patients.
How do you enter?
Well, it’s actually very easy! All you have to do is tell a friend or family member about our office and have them schedule an appointment. When they come in for their new patient appointment, you will be entered into the drawing! Just make sure they give us your name so we know who to thank!
When you refer a second patient to our office, your name will be put in two additional times. For the third patient, three additional times, etc.
And that’s not all! We appreciate your referrals so much that you will also receive a special thank you gift from our office as well!
Some of you may have seen the Today show feature on Alicia Silverstone chewing food and then transferring it to her child. (Video below)
Other than just plain being gross, it’s not good for the child’s teeth!
Evidence has proven that the transmission of saliva from a parent to child, between spouses, etc. can be harmful to their teeth! Parents with active tooth decay can pass the Streptococcus mutans bacteria through their saliva and give their children cavities!
Dentists and other healthcare professionals advise against sharing utensils, kissing your child on the lips, and even blowing on their food.
We’re doing it again! Our third annual oral cancer screening day will be held on Friday, April 13 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and you don’t even need an appointment!
The office of Hudsonville Dental Associates has partnered with The Oral Cancer Foundation in honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month and will be offering free oral cancer screenings on April 13 to the public. Oral cancer has existed outside the understanding of much of the public, yet 37,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed this year alone. We would like to invite everyone to our office to get a free oral cancer screening in an effort to raise awareness for this silent killer.
These screenings are more important now than ever because oral cancer is on the rise. There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through the exposure to the HPV-16 virus, which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the US. Today, we are seeing young, non-smoking individuals as the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population. When found early, oral cancers have an 80% survival rate. Unfortunately, the majorities are found as late stage cancers and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 45% at five years from diagnosis. Late stage diagnosis is not occurring because these cancers are hard to discover, it is because of a lack of public awareness and a lack of a national program for opportunistic screenings.
Oral cancer is not a rare disease. It kills one person every hour of every day in the US, and 100 new individuals will be diagnosed each day with oral cancer. These staggering statistics make these free events crucial, as awareness of the disease and its risk factors in the US population is so low. Please don’t miss out on this opportunity for a free oral cancer screening.