ST PAUL, Minn — Since we last caught up with Code White Teeth Whitening, the owners have expanded their business.
"Before, we had two smaller stations," co-founder and CEO Cartier Banks said. "We shut them both down and combined them into one big location."
The new location is within the Eden Prairie Center.
Now, Banks and COO David Hicks III are paying it forward. In partnership with the Minnesota Chill Foundation and St. Paul Parks and Recreation, they provided kids with a free oral health class on the second day of Black History Month.
Using crossword puzzles, trivia questions and other educational materials, topics included the serious risks of neglecting your teeth and what a bright smile can do for your self esteem. According to the CDC, nearly twice as many black adults have untreated cavities as white adults.
Aware of the disparities, Code White Teeth Whitening wants to reach kids while they're young. For Hicks III, holding class at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreational Center in St. Paul is especially meaningful.
"I went here in second, third, fourth grade," he said. "If we can help these kids learn something here in the third grade and it can teach them something that will affect them at 27 where they don't need a root canal, it can change their lives."
Marcus Hill is facility director of the MLK Center. He and Hicks III go way back.
"David is well known throughout the community for being a really good basketball player and student and he was someone that I looked up to playing," Hill said. "I was able to see his career, follow his career. So I think today is going to be a really good eye opening experience for our students to show them that hey this is something you can learn in college or this is a business you could open up one day."
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