What’s in a name? For one fortunate charity, it could be as much as $500 through a contest sponsored by Children’s Dentistry of Forest Park to give a moniker to a large colorful installation that has been turning heads at the practice since early June.
The whimsical 6-foot, 200-pound display has been perched above the pediatric dentist office at 1129 S. Harlem Ave.
Some call the newcomer “the giant chattering teeth” and others refer to it as a “really big smile wearing sneakers.” Now all the colorful fiberglass structure needs is a name.
With that in mind, Children’s Dentistry founder Dr. Jerry Udelson has established the “Ready, Set…Name That Really Big Smile Contest.”
The “big smile” refers not only to Children’s Dentistry’s “little teeth, big smiles” motto, but also the next-door Big Smiles Orthodontics, Center for Orthodontic Excellence practice, also owned by Dr. Udelson.
Through August 31, he is seeking suggestions from the public on what to call the head-turning display. To submit your nomination, email BigSmileContest@gmail.com or call 708-FUN-KIDS (386-5437).
During the first week of September, dentistry staff will narrow the list of nominations to no more than five finalists.
Then during the rest of September, Children’s Dentistry will open the ballot box, in its office and on its Facebook page to determine the winning name. Any individual can vote once online and once at the office, located just north of Roosevelt Road on the eastern border of Forest Park.
For those who come to the office they will get a closer look at the fiberglass sign, which looms overhead more than 20 feet off the ground.
Wrapping around three sides of a decorative brick wall, each tooth is 13 inches tall and the teeth are seven feet across. Beneath the giant teeth is a pair of green high-top sneakers, laced to the top and roughly 2 feet in length. On one side of the teeth is a mock key, suggesting the teeth are just a few rotations away from starting to chatter.
The entire effect is to inspire smiles, which ties in directly to Children’s Dentistry’s mission to make children’s visits to the dentist enjoyable.
“A few years ago, a patient came up with the name of Fluo-rider for our practice’s colorful vehicle,” Udelson said. “This time around, by expanding our reach to the entire community, we are confident that we will receive even more creative, fun naming ideas.”
All of those whose nominations are chosen as finalists will receive a gift certificate to a local restaurant or dessert shop. In addition, each nominator will have the opportunity to designate a local charitable organization that receives a donation whose amount is based on the voting results.
The top vote-getter will receive $1 per vote from Children’s Dentistry, up to $500; the practice will donate $100 to each of the other charity finalists.
“There are so many worthwhile causes out there,” said Udelson. “Even more significant than the financial contribution is the spotlight that we look forward to shining on these organizations’ efforts.”
The results, including the display’s democratically elected name, will be announced some time in early October.
To learn more about Children’s Dentistry of Forest Park, call 708-FUN-KIDS (386-5437) or visit www.little-teeth-big-smiles.com.