Hunter’s Smile: Bismarck orthodontist gives free braces in honor of patient


We are starting to see more smiles since the local mask mandates have been lifted.

Braces are meant to enhance a smile and for Skylar, braces brought her confidence back, thanks to a program called Hunter’s Smile.

Hunter’s Smile is a project created to give people in the community braces, free of charge, in memory of Hunter Seifert.

Orthodontist Dustin Hollevoet says, “Hunter was a patient of mine back early on back in 2010-2011…and just normal everyday athletic cool kid… healthy as could be…”

Until he he got diagnosed with cancer.

Dustin adds, “He proved to be a far stronger human than I am than basically anyone that I’ve met…

Since Hunter’s passing, Hollevoet has gifted five people with free braces to keep Hunter’s legacy alive. One recipient was 15-year-old Skylar Rogalla from Bismarck whose aunt nominated her.

Skylar says, “That made me really grateful for my aunt because she did that and I ended up fixing my smile.”

And the financial burden for Skylar’s mom to pay for braces was lifted

Patty Rogalla, Skylar’s mom says “I immediately freaked out. I broke down. I don’t even have words it was so great.”

Skylar says since receiving these braces her confidence has grown. She says, “When I didn’t have braces I used to smile with my mouth closed because I was so self-conscious about it.”

Patty adds, “Or covering it with your hand.”

Skylar agrees, “Or covering it with my hand. So now I don’t. I’m trying not to smile with my mouth closed and trying to embrace my new smile.”

Dustin says, “It’s a very simple thing to do. And its not noteworthy. It’s nothing like that. It’s just something we can do . It’s part of a bigger picture.”

A picture worth smiling for.

Hollevoet says it’s a pay-it-forward attitude that keeps him inspired to help others.

For more information on Hunters Smile and how you can nominate someone go here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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