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Texas dentists host Zumba-themed fundraiser

September 16, 2013

Organizers: Dr. Antonio Berto, NTHDA president, left, joins other Dance for a Kid’s Smile organizers, for a photo. Also pictured are Baylor College of Dentistry NTHDA chapter member students and NTHDA board members Dr. Eduardo Tanur, Dr. Carlos Nurko, Dr. Helena Tapias, Dr. Esteban Garza and Katin Larrave.
Plano, Texas—The North Texas Hispanic Dental Association threw a Zumba dance event to raise funds to provide dental care to underserved children in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

The Dance for a Kid's Smile Zumbathon June 29 raised more than $2,000 for the Happy Tooth/El Diente Feliz fund. The money will be used to provide care for about 20 young patients at Community Dental Care Clinics in Dallas.

“It is heartbreaking to see a child's smile destroyed by tooth decay,” said Dr. Carlos Nurko, past president of the NTHDA. “Imagine not being able to eat, sleep, or pay attention in school because you have a mouth full of toothaches. For adults who have not received oral care, it can mean medical complications and loss of self-esteem.”

Salsa time: Dr. Carlos Nurko, left, and Zumba Jammer Carlos Garcia lead charity dance participants in some Latin moves. 

Think pink: Dance for a Kid’s Smile committee members, show off their Zumba skills at the event. Dancers include Sandy Tabacinic, April Rzentkowski, Gisella Antognelli and Martina Prinz.
More than 150 participants came out for the event to dance, and local businesses also supported the cause, donating gift cards for prize drawings.

Not only does the program support dental care for underserved kids, it also provides dental students and pediatric residents from Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry with clinical exposure to working with children.

“We really need to help these students who will be the future in our profession get more exposure in working with young children,” said Dr. Nurko.”

The Zumbathon model, he added, can be easy replicated and encourages other dental groups to embrace the dance celebration to raise funds for dental care in their communities.

“People like to dance and this is a worthy cause,” he said. “Children's oral health is everyone's business—not just for dentists. We need to participate as a community and as a nation, to find the different ways to solve this problem. It won't happen overnight. But if enough people start working on it, it will happen.”