PARKERSBURG - Fourteen-year-old Jessie Broadwater has a beautiful smile and members of the foundation which helped give her that smile couldn't be happier.
Broadwater's first dental treatment began nearly two years ago after officials announced a local chapter of the national Smile for a Lifetime Foundation would begin giving area children scholarships for dental care. Broadwater received a scholarship for dental work in October 2010.
Eckels Orthodontics in Marietta celebrated the milestone Thursday with balloons and smiles.
Photo by Michael Erb
Fourteen-year-old Jessie Broadwater smiles as her teeth are inspected by orthodontist Scott Eckels Thursday in Marietta.
"She was our first big case," said orthodontist Scott Eckels. "It is such a neat program and it is so nice to be able to give back to the community in this way."
Since its inception in April 2010, the foundation has distributed 44 scholarships to at-need children and families. Eckels said a board of professionals and community members selects children to receive the scholarships, which completely cover the cost of dental work.
"These are for the people that fall through the cracks, the people who are working but can't afford the dental work but wouldn't qualify for any public assistance," he said.
In Broadwater's case, work was done to correct an overbite while straightening her teeth. On Thursday she received a retainer, the final step in aligning her teeth.
"It's changed my life," Broadwater said. "In how I look and how people see me, it made me more confidant."
Broadwater's mom, Marisa Broadwater, said the program has been wonderful.
"It's been a great experience for her," Marisa Broadwater said. "It has made her a lot more confident in herself."
More information on the local Smile for a Lifetime program can be found at www.eckelsortho.com. Applications can be obtained through the site or by calling 1-304-422-6477.