Dressed in all white – from his tights and tutu – to his fairy wings and glittery headband, Cory Dahl brings a smile to everyone he meets. His annual visit to Ministry Door County Medical Center (MDCMC) as the Tooth Fairy supports the hospital’s Dental Clinic.
Every February in support of Children’s Dental Health Month the MDCMC Mission & Values team sponsors the Tooth Fairy project to benefit the Dental Clinic. The Tooth Fairy stands by a donation display inside the hospital. He also walks around and visits the pediatric waiting room to remind children to take care of their teeth and keep smiling.
“It’s an effective way to raise awareness and some money for a very worthwhile project in our community. The children’s dental health clinic does very important work and makes a tremendous difference in the lives of many hundreds of people,” explains Dahl, a MDCMC board member.
“You feel good about being part of a solution that will give kids a smile. I have seen some people donate a second time just because the Tooth Fairy made it so much fun,” says Susan Johnson, spiritual services director at MDCMC.
Dahl agrees, “When I’m dressed as the Tooth Fairy I see lots of smiles, many laughs and more than a few double takes. I don’t really mind if someone commends my courage or compliments my legs.”
The MDCMC Dental Clinic is a non-profit facility that has been providing oral health care to the underserved youth population of Door and Kewaunee Counties since 1999. The dental program targets youth between the ages of two and 18 who are on Medicaid, BadgerCare, or BadgerCare Plus; are low-income, disabled, or underinsured; or who have no dental home.
“Dental cavities are an epidemic in the United States. Children with untreated decay usually have mouth pain and may find it difficult to concentrate in the classroom or even enjoy a meal. As a result, their self-esteem may suffer. The Dental Clinic can improve children’s dental health and restore their smile,” says Johnson.
The MDCMC Dental Clinic provides comprehensive dental services comparable to those of any other dental office, including cleanings, exams, X-rays, fluoride treatment, restorations, root canals, fillings, crowns, extractions, sealants, fluoride varnish, and oral-health instruction.
“We give parents a way to make sure their children’s teeth are cared for in a way that is respectful and compassionate. This is part of our mission,” adds Johnson.
“Our Mission & Values team thought a Tooth Fairy project would raise awareness and money for the MDCMC Dental Clinic,” says Dahl about his fundraising efforts. “Besides it’s not every day that you see a 6-foot 2-inch, gray-haired man dressed as a Tooth Fairy.”