South Dakota gov. promotes work on her teeth by Texas dentist in infomercial-style social media post

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem posted an infomercial-style video on X Monday night lavishing praise on a team of cosmetic dentists outside her state for giving her a smile she said she can be proud of.

Noem, who has showcased herself as a potential vice presidential pick for former President Donald Trump, posted the nearly 5-minute video on her personal X account, writing, “I love my new family at Smile Texas!”

Noem at the start of the video identifies herself as the governor of South Dakota as a clip is shown of her speaking at a state Republican party event with Trump signs in the background.

She needed to have what she called an adjustment to her teeth because she knocked out her front teeth years ago in a biking accident, she says in the video.

Noem’s two spokespersons did not immediately respond to emails asking what prompted Noem to make the video, whether the dental work was free in exchange for making the video and why she went to Texas when other providers in South Dakota appear available.

Smile Texas also didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The team here was remarkable and finally gave me a smile that I can be proud of and confident in, and that really is a gift that I think is going to be incredibly special to have,” Noem said.

She mentions two dentists by name and says she chose Smile Texas, for among other things “because they’re the best,” adding that she researched other cosmetic dental work they had done.

Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School, on Tuesday called the video a shameless plug for a private business.

“I’m honestly kind of baffled by it but one could say everything she’s doing at the moment is an audition to be Trump’s VP candidate,” Levinson said.

Noem as governor will be term-limited in 2026 and, after declining to run for president this year, is considering her options to maintain prominence in the GOP. Those who are keen to be considered as Trump’s running mate have been openly jockeying for the position.

A former member of Congress, Noem rose to national prominence with a mostly hands-off approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. She endorsed Trump at a Republican party fundraiser in South Dakota last September.

Asked around that time whether she would consider joining a potential Trump ticket if invited, Noem told Newsmax she “would in a heartbeat.”