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Dugoni School Helps Underserved Children During Give Kids A Smile Event

DAU instructor Maria DeGunto with students from Rosa Parks Elementary School

February  06, 2009

Volunteers from University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry provided oral health screenings, treatment and education to underserved children in San Francisco during a Give Kids A Smile® event on February 6.

During the outreach project held at Rosa Parks Elementary School in San Francisco's Western Addition neighborhood, volunteer staff members and Dental Auxiliary Utilization (DAU) instructors from the dental school's pediatric dentistry clinic screened more than 130 children from the 3rd-, 4th- and 5th-grade classes. Approximately three dozen children received fluoride varnishes, and parents were notified of the screening results and given referral information.

In addition to providing free dental services, the volunteers informed attendees about the importance of early and routine oral health care. Through hands-on interactive education, the children learned about proper diet and nutrition as well as brushing and flossing.

"Many of the students at this school are new to the area and need a dental home that we know we can provide here at Pacific," said Nancy Thompson, DAU instructor and dental health outreach coordinator. "We certainly feel that we made a difference for these children, if only for a few hours, to bring awareness of their dental needs."

The American Dental Association established Give Kids A Smile® in an effort to focus attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children. Held each February, the program provides free oral health education, screenings and dental services to children from low-income families across the country.

Category Type: Community Outreach, General

Contact:  Office of Public Relations, 415.929.6434, pr@pacific.edu