Ninth Annual "Give Kids a Smile" Day Takes Place Feb. 5

By Lois Baker

Release Date: February 4, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Children from across Western New York who don't have access to dental care will receive free treatment Feb. 5 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's ninth annual "Give Kids a Smile" day.

This year the UB Pediatric Dentistry Department at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, and South Buffalo Mercy Pediatric Dental Clinic also are participating in the event.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown or an assistant will attend the event to deliver a proclamation endorsing "Give Kids a Smile Day" and to encourage persons who currently don't have a dentist to use the UB dental school to find a dental home.

Approximately 1,200 public school children, including those from Head Start centers, will receive a free dental exam, fluoride treatment, x-rays, sealant and oral hygiene instruction.

They will leave the clinic with a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and instructions on how to keep their teeth healthy. Limited restorative dental work will be available, as well as additional treatment or consultation as needed.

Tours of the dental clinics, hands-on activities, dental videos and oral hygiene instruction for parents and children also will be offered.

Several hundred volunteers, including UB dental school faculty, staff and students; private dentists and their staff; staff at the additional two centers; and students and faculty from Erie Community College's Dental Hygiene Program and Equal Opportunity Center's Dental Assisting Program, will help keep the day running smoothly.

The Buffalo event is part of a national effort to encourage children to adopt good dental health habits early on, so they can avoid major problems later.

The event is a partnership with the American Dental Association; Patterson Dental; Crest Health Smiles 2010; Sullivan Schein, a major dental supply company; the 8th District Dental Society; and Kaleida Health.