The School of Dentistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will provide free dental care to approximately 100 Durham Head Start children ages 3-5 on Friday, Feb. 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place at the school’s clinics on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus.
More than 200 students, residents, staff and faculty members from the School of Dentistry will join thousands of dental volunteers across the country, providing care in conjunction with the American Dental Association’s annual Give Kids a Smile Day. The participating children will receive dental exams, cleanings and fluoride varnish treatments, as well as engage in an activity fair. Representatives from the UNC School of Medicine, the UNC School of Nursing and the Gillings School of Global Public Health will also be present at the fair to help educate the children on oral health, nutritional health and overall health.
The UNC School of Dentistry Give Kids a Smile event is the first of its kind on campus, and one of just eight events in North Carolina that day.
“The UNC School of Dentistry community wanted to take on Give Kids a Smile Day in a big way this year, not only to serve the oral health needs of children in our area, but also to educate them through fun and interactive educational opportunities,” said Ben Anders, second-year D.D.S. student and one of the event co-chairs. “At UNC, we’re in a unique position to collaborate between health profession schools, and our committee wanted to use those resources to positively impact oral and overall health for a group of children right here in the Triangle.”
The ADA Give Kids a Smile program began in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with other community professionals to help children in need of dental care. Initially a one-day event in February, the event has since grown into events at other times as well. Participating dental professionals provide free dental services to local, qualifying children while raising awareness of untreated dental diseases occurring locally and nationally.