For the past 15 years, Bright Now! Dental’s Dr. Shorouq Sahawneh has been helping patients improve their health and self-confidence by transforming smiles. She is an active partner of the Smiles for Everyone Foundation who has volunteered her time and skills to provide hundreds of hours of free dental care to individuals in need.
- What first got you interested in providing free dental care to your community?
I’ve always been passionate about how dental care can change people’s lives. Seeing the impact I have on my patients every day, helped me realize that I wanted to provide the gift of dentistry to those who couldn’t afford care. When I learned about the Smiles for Everyone Foundation in 2013, I immediately looked for ways to get involved.
- Describe how you’ve partnered with the Smiles for Everyone Foundation.
In July, 2013, I accompanied a group of volunteers to the Foundation’s outpost in Nicaragua. We saw patients who had travelled up to three days to take advantage of free dental care. Our team treated almost 1,000 patients in a week, most of which had never seen a dentist. I received tears of joy and gratitude from many of them, and this experience changed my life. Since then, I’ve partnered with the Smiles for Everyone Foundation locally on several Community Smile Projects providing free dental care to over a 100 patients here in California.
- How does it feel to work for a company that shares your values about giving back?
The Smile Brands’ culture of Smiles for Everyone® is engrained in the hearts and souls of all our employees. Working for this company has helped me discover my highest purpose in life. I have been deeply inspired seeing our CEO leading by example through his continuous support of the Foundation. Having the ability to work and volunteer within the same organization has made it possible for me to fulfill my purpose without taking time away from work or family.
- What are some of the risks associated with neglecting dental care?
Neglecting dental care can cause minor issues like sensitivity and bad breath or more serious problems such as pain, infection and tooth loss. Moreover, studies repeatedly show that poor dental health can be linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, heart attack or stroke, diabetes, pneumonia and acute bronchitis. This is why I’m so focused on getting people into regular care. It’s not just about having a pretty smile, proper dental care is critical for people’s overall health.
We extend our sincere gratitude to Dr. Shorouq Sahawneh for her dedication to helping others and delivering smiles for those in need!