Outreach, Pediatric Dentistry

Give Kids a Smile

During the first week of February, more than 60 UNC School of Dentistry volunteers participated in the American Dental Association’s second annual “Give Kids a Smile!” event. The School’s participation in the event was spread over three days.

Held during National Children’s Dental Health Month, GKAS is a nation-wide event that mobilizes an estimated 35,000 dental professionals each year. The event provides underserved children with the nation’s largest, free dental education, screening and care event. Last year’s GKAS event provided education, screening, preventive and, in many cases, comprehensive treatment valued at more than $100 million to approximately 1 million children.

“The children we were able to treat are just a small sample of the many under-served children in our area who need access to dental care,” said student volunteer Julie Robinson. “We hope GKAS events will encourage our students to participate in other community awareness events and help spread the importance of dental health.”

UNC has participated during each of the first two years of GKAS.  This year, volunteers ranged from second-year dental students and dental hygiene students to faculty members and AEGD residents.

On Monday, Feb.2, students visited three local daycares, The Children’s Campus, Community School for People Under Six, Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool.

On Wednesday, Feb.4, students provided screenings and fluoride varnishes for over 220 children at the Chapel Hill Day Care, Mi Escuelita and Tiny Tots.

And finally, on Friday, Feb.6, students in the School’s clinics provided exams, x-rays, prohies, fluoride treatments and sealants to 17 children from UNC’s Big Brother, Big Sister program.