BROOKLYN — A surprise visit to the dentist had a group of Brooklyn teens smiling Friday afternoon — that's because the team at Bensonhurst Dental came together to offer their services free of charge for a good cause.
"The kids don't really go to the dentist as often as they should, so the fact that they're here and able to get their teeth cleaned and whitened is so great," said a Indera Pressley, a youth development counselor.
Pressley works with Good Shepard Services in East New York. The kids she works with have been separated from their parents for a variety of reasons and, as a result, many of them don't get the healthcare they need.
This is why Dr. Daniel Rubinshtein and his team at Bensonhust Dental volunteered their time to give free dental services to more than a dozen kids Friday morning.
"We all have ups and downs in life," Rubinshtein said. "And I really believe that we are all each others angels and we have to help each other."
Each year kids across the country miss more than 50 million hours at school because of dental related illnesses. So Bensonhurst Dental partnered with the New York City's Administration for Children's Services to try and help kids who might be at the greatest risk.
"Prevention is the most important," Rubinshtein said. "The idea is never to wait until something starts to bother you or to blow up with an infection."
The trip and treatments came as a surprise to the kids. Once they finished their checkups, they couldn't hold back their newly minted smiles.
"At first when we got here, they were like, 'What? The dentist?' but when they're coming out everyone is all smiling and giggly and so excited about it."
And Rubinshtein spent a few minutes with each patient to make sure they're prepared to keep those smiles as white and healthy as they are the second they step out of the chair.
"I want them to have the skills to maintain everything that was done today."