February 12, 2014
Several hundred Northern California children left with brighter smiles after receiving free dental check-ups and oral health screenings offered by the University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. As part of the American Dental Association's national Give Kids a Smile program, the school hosted oral health events at sites in Stockton, San Francisco and Union City. Pacific Dugoni faculty, students, residents and staff volunteered their time for the events and donated thousands of dollars in oral health services to the public.
The school's Hutto Patterson Pediatric Clinic in San Francisco participated in Give Kids a Smile this year for the first time on February 1, treating more than 80 children to a day of screenings and evaluations, fluoride, health tips, tooth fairy visits and furry friends. In addition to receiving dental exams, children played with cuddly animals at the Little Explorers Petting Zoo, snapped photos with dental students dressed as giant toothbrushes and learned about oral health through educational games.
Another health fair was held at Pacific's Chan Family Health Sciences Learning Center in Stockton on February 8. Nearly 200 children received free dental screenings and enjoyed face painting, fun activities and entertainment. The event was co-hosted by University of the Pacific and the San Joaquin Dental Society.
Pacific's Union City Dental Care Center also hosted a Give Kids a Smile event on February 8 offering free dental care to children ages 4 to 14. The event was co-hosted by the Southern Alameda County Dental Society and University of the Pacific. Students, faculty, staff and numerous volunteers from the dental society provided $36,854 worth of free care, including exams, cleanings, fillings and sealants.
"Give Kids a Smile day is a very special event that allows our Pacific volunteers to reach out and get to know the communities they live and work in," said Jan Fricke, dental auxiliary utilization teaching assistant. "Each year, we continue to be touched by the enthusiasm of all who participate as well as the heartfelt expressions of thanks from parents and others in the community."
The Give Kids a Smile program was launched by the American Dental Association in 2003 as a way to encourage dentists to reach out to their communities by providing dental services to underserved children. More than 1,500 events were planned throughout the country this year, reaching an estimated total of more than 345,000 children.
To view Give Kids a Smile event photos, visit the online photo gallery.
Category Type: Community Outreach
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