Giving Foster Children the Gift of a Beautiful Smile

It was a brisk, cold April day outside, but inside there was nothing but warm, welcoming smiles for the first group of metro Detroit foster children and teens to be seen by a new program courtesy of the University of Detroit Mercy’s Orthodontics program, the Detroit Department of Human Services and For The Seventh Generation.

The program, which was facilitated by For The Seventh Generation Executive Director Lorraine Weber, will provide orthodontic services for Wayne County children and teens who are permanent wards of the court – in other words, young people who have been permanently removed from their birth parents for their own safety and well being. Thirty-one young people were served during the initial screening on April 5. Future plans include outreach to private agencies and a continuing schedule for new candidates to be evaluated and treated.

The Postgraduate Orthodontics department is a program of University of Detroit Dr. Richard Kulbersh, Department Chair in Orthodontics April 5Mercy’s School of Dentistry. The head of the department, Dr. Richard Kulbersh (shown here, working with one of the children being screened), was among the faculty and students who worked with the foster children on April 5.

It’s embarrassing enough for a child or teen to feel unable to smile or to eat properly because her or his teeth aren’t aligned correctly. Imagine how that same situation feels to a young person who has already seen more than their share of hardship – more than many adults ever see – and you’ll know just why this program is so important.

We’d like to thank Dr. Kulbersh along with his faculty, staff, and students, Sheila Roberts of the Detroit DHS, and everyone else who are working together to give foster children and teens in our area the gift of a beautiful smile!

Meanwhile, we are still looking for orthodontists to work with children and teens who are in temporary foster care throughout the metro Detroit area. If you can help, please sign up on our easy-to-use-website today!


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