"Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!" - Luke 12:48 - The Message
Kandyce M. A'see, RDH, MS
Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene at Augusta University
Kandyce is a dental hygiene educator at Augusta University in Augusta, GA. She received her Bachelor of Science from South Carolina State University, and her Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene and her Master of Science in Allied Health from the Medical College of Georgia (now known as Augusta University). She worked in private practice for 2.5 years before becoming a dental hygiene educator. Kandyce not only serves as a Give Kids A Smile volunteer, but she also volunteers at various health fairs with her dental hygiene students, she has done a mission trip abroad as well as local dental missions in Augusta, and she served as the dental hygiene co-coordinator for Georgia Mission of Mercy (GMOM) in August of 2018, where over 1900 people received free dental treatment. Kandyce is the author of the children's book, "The Tooth Tickler." Kandyce has an extremely supportive husband and two wonderful sons.
Organization through which your Give Kids A Smile program takes place:
Our Give Kids A Smile program is conducted through the dental hygiene program of Augusta University in collaboration with the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University.
The duration of your involvement in the GKAS program:
I have been the dental hygiene coordinator for the Give Kids A Smile program since 2011. Dental students and dental faculty visit the chosen elementary school to screen the students in December prior to the event in February. Then in February, the students are bused to the dental school for their treatment that includes cleanings, sealants, flouride varnish application, radiographs, restorations, stainless steel crowns, and extractions. Volunteers include dental hygiene students and faculty, dental students and faculty, pediatric dentistry residents, and dental assistants.
Why do you participate in Give Kids A Smile programs?
This is a hard question because I have never thought twice about it and have never contemplated why. Maybe it's just my natural instinct. I am a true believer of the scripture in the book of Luke, "to whom much is given, much is required." I am blessed beyond measure and more than I deserve, so the very least I can do is use my passion to bless others. Children are so very innocent and helpless, and they don't have the capacity and/or means to make sure they get the dental treatment they need. Therefore, if I have the skill set and resources to help, the question is "why not?" Even though giving back is not about me, I must say that it gives me unspeakable joy to bless these children through Give Kids A Smile.
Why is the Give Kids A Smile program important?
Give Kids A Smile is important because there are thousands of children that would not otherwise get dental treatment. For some children, this is the only dental treatment they will ever receive. Working with the school system to conduct our Give Kids A Smile program enables us to reach children who do not have the proper transportation for dental visits, or whose parents are not dental educated enough to understand the importance of their children receiving dental treatment. The dental education the children receive through Give Kids A Smile is important as well because many of the children begin to "push" the issue of dental care with their parents when they return home.
Please tell us a story about how your Give Kids A Smile program helped a child/children in need.
A few years ago, we decided to incorporate the Healthy Grandparents program into our Give Kids A Smile Program. Healthy Grandparents was established at Augusta University's College of Nursing in order to provide physical, emotional, and social support to grandparents and great-grandparents raising their grandchildren living in parent-absent homes. Our Give Kids A Smile program truly touched these grandparents as well as the children. The dental treatment and dental education they received made a significant difference in their lives and gave them an extra boost knowing that they have dental support in the community and that they can use the Dental College of Georgia as a resource.
Read the GKAS 15th Anniversary Gratitude Report.