Apopka dentist getting results for veterans

For second year dentist hosts 'Operation Bright Smiles'

By Clay LePard - Reporter

APOPKA, Fla. - Many businesses close ahead of Veterans Day, but the waiting room in A Soft Touch in Family Dental Care was filled with veterans on Friday.

Dentist John Gammichia said the plan was to treat at many veterans as they could at the Apopka practice.

For the second year in a row, dozens of veterans got free dental care Friday, as a way of giving back to those who served our country.

"It's finally a day where we don't have money getting into the way," Gammichia said. "We really just want to serve, and it gives us an opportunity to serve without the paperwork, let's just help you."

For many veterans, dental care can sometimes be an afterthought.

"It can be put on the back burner and sometimes their benefits don't cover normal dental care," Gammichia said. "That's where we fill in the gap. " 

As the son of a veteran, Gammichia knows the need is there. 

"You would see people anywhere from I need to a cleaning to needing all my teeth pulled," he said. "We're able to deal with all of those problems today."

Steve Johnson, who served in the U.S. Navy in the 1980's, was among the veterans at the practice Friday. 

"A healthy mouth is a healthy life," Johnson said. "It affects everything if you get poisons in your teeth, it affects your whole body. I had that." 

After his own dental woes, Johnson is cracking down and finding a new confidence with his cleaned up smile. 

"You feel like you've got a nice smile," Johnson said. "Your mouth feels clean and healthy. My mouth feels healthy and I'm not ashamed of my smile as much and I feel better about myself." 

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