Outreach, Pediatric Dentistry

Students Provide Nearly $89,350 of Free Dental Care to Local Children

Dental students holding giant toothbrush during give kids a smile day

On Friday, Feb. 3, 2023, volunteers at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry provided free oral health care services to nearly 180 children as a part of the school’s 10th annual Give Kids A Smile® event.

“It’s a real testament to the values of our program that we were able to provide this kind of care,” said Samantha Glover and Caylen Y. Bost, student clinic chairs and DDS Candidates 2024.

“It takes a lot of coordination and people working together to make this happen. We treated nearly 180 kids and met tons of grateful parents and guardians who were so appreciative that we put something like this on.”

With the help of almost 400 total volunteers — made up of dentists, students, faculty, and staff — the children were able to receive various treatments, such as dental exams, X-rays, fluoride treatment, sealants, fillings, or extractions.

At the event, children and their families experienced an outer space themed, interactive health fair with representatives from the UNC-CH School of Medicine, Eshelman School of Pharmacy, UNC-CH Athletics, undergraduate students, and Adams School of Dentistry’s American Association of Public Health Dentistry (AAPHD) student chapter, Social Work, Project Search, and the Jacox Research Study. Along the way, children had an out-of-this-world time visiting each table with free toothbrushes, a coloring station, and fun activities, as well as meeting the Tooth Fairies and getting a special visit from Rameses Jr.

Through the ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile® program, launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003, more than 6 million underserved children across the country have received free oral health services.

These free services are provided by approximately 10,000 volunteer dentists annually, along with 30,000 other dental team members. The Adams School of Dentistry’s event was generously sponsored by the Dental Foundation of North Carolina, Delta Dental, North Carolina Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Affordable Care, American Dental Association, Henry Schein, Hu-Friedy, and Benco Dental.