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

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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.

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