Release Date: February 2, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Thousands of Buffalo children will have a new reason to smile this February. In celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will provide screenings or oral health education to thousands of local kids.
The school will provide dental care and education through its two annual programs, Give Kids a Smile Day and Smile Education Day.
Now in its 16th year, Give Kids a Smile Day welcomes nearly 700 schoolchildren – including 300 Head Start students – and hundreds of volunteers, whom include UB dental school faculty, staff and students, as well as private dentists and their staff who are donating their time to provide care.
This year’s event will introduce a pirate theme and expand care to nearly 300 students from Buffalo high schools. The program will also provide Special Olympic Special Smiles screenings to 35 special needs students from P.S. 42 Occupational Training Center, making UB the only university in the nation to offer the service during Give Kids a Smile Day.
Throughout the day, students will receive free dental treatment and cleanings. While they wait, kids can enjoy hands-on activities, games, dental videos and oral health instruction from Blackbeard and Mr. Tooth.
Give Kids a Smile Day, held in partnership with the American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association and the 8th District Dental Society, is part of a national effort to teach children good dental health habits while they’re young to avoid major oral health problems later in life. Since the program began in 2001, UB has treated nearly 10,000 children.
The event is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 3, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Squire Hall on the UB South Campus. Special guests include Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and Erie County Health Commissioner Gale R. Burstein. Remarks and a proclamation from Brown will be delivered at 10 a.m.
For a map of the campus (Squire Hall is No. 19), visit: http://bit.ly/2jDpqkH.
Toward the middle of February, UB dental faculty and students will visit thousands of children in dozens of schools across Western New York as part of the 24th annual Smile Education Day.
Organized by the UB Smile Team and School of Dental Medicine, the event teaches children about the importance of dental hygiene, proper nutrition and the effects of sugar, and the connection between oral hygiene and overall health.
Scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 15, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, dentists, hygienists, dental assistants and dental students from UB and local communities will visit students in grades 3 to 5 to deliver oral health presentations and offer career guidance on becoming a dentist.
For a list of schools participating in the program, contact Marcene Robinson in University Communications at 716-645-4595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smile Education Day and Give Kids a Smile Day are two of more than 400 community outreach events that the UB School of Dental Medicine participates in each year.