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Home > About BNE > Press Room > 2011 Archive > March > Give Kids a Smile

UB's 10th Annual "Give Kids a Smile" Day Provides Dental Exams to Hundreds of Children from Across the Region


Sara Saldi

February 17, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Children from across Western New York who have limited or no access to dental care received free treatment this month at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's 10th annual "Give Kids a Smile" day.

This year the South Buffalo Mercy Pediatric Dental Clinic and the Eighth District Dental Society also participated in the day.
Video of images of UB Smile Day is available at Broadcast quality video is also available upon request.

Tanya Perrin-Johnson, Buffalo Commissioner of Community Services, and Buffalo Common Councilmember Demone Smith from the Masten District, as well as representatives from Mayor Byron Brown's and University District Councilmember Bonnie Russell's offices, attended the event, and proclamations were delivered endorsing "Give Kids a Smile Day." And those who currently don't have a dentist were encouraged to use the UB dental school to find a dental home.

Approximately 500 public school children, including those from the Bethel Head Start centers, were scheduled to receive a free dental exam, fluoride treatment, x-rays, sealant and oral hygiene instruction.

UB's award-winning Teddy Bear clinic provided health education hands-on activities, dental videos, games, oral hygiene instruction and visits by local sports mascots for the 300 Bethel Head Start children and their parents while they waited for their dental appointments.

The UB dental school gave each child a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss and instructions on how to keep their teeth healthy. Limited restorative dental work also was provided, as well as additional treatment or consultation as needed.

Several hundred volunteers, including UB dental school faculty, staff and students; the Eighth District Dental Society's private dentists and their staffs; and students and faculty from Erie Community College's Dental Hygiene Program and the UB Educational Opportunity Center's Dental Assisting Program, helped with the day's events and services.

The Buffalo event is part of the American Dental Association's national effort to encourage children to adopt good dental health habits early on, so they can avoid major problems later.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.