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Students and Faculty Help Underserved Children During Give Kids A Smile

Jessi Wilson, class of 2010, teaches a child from Alameda County how to brush properly during a Give Kids A Smile® event at La Clinica de La Raza in Oakland, Calif.

February  25, 2008

 Nearly 500 children from the Bay Area and Central Valley are smiling brighter thanks to volunteers from the dental school.

As part of the American Dental Association's national Give Kids A Smile® effort, faculty, residents and students at the Pacific Dental Care Clinic in Stockton, Calif., screened nearly 400 school-aged children from the Central Valley. As a result, more than two dozen kids received follow-up treatment, including cleanings and restorations.

"We felt privileged to be able to help so many children," said Dr. Howard Chi, director of the Pacific Dental Care Clinic. "Our residents provided more than $3,000 worth of dental care to children in the Central Valley who wouldn't otherwise have the means to receive treatment."

Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry volunteers also lent their support to a Give Kids A Smile® event at La Clinica de la Raza in Oakland, Calif., on Feb 23. Pacific's Student Community Outreach for Public Education (SCOPE) organization and dental school faculty partnered with alumnus Dr. Michael French and the Alameda County Dental Society to provide 84 Oakland area children with oral health services, such as dental screenings and fluoride varnishes.

In addition to screenings and treatment, the event allowed parents to establish a permanent "dental home" for their children and to make future appointments for free restorative dental care at La Clinica.A child receives a dental screening

"This experience was certainly eye-opening in terms of the extensive need for oral health care in Alameda County," said Stephanie Hannon, class of 2009. "Several parents related that their child had missed school during the past few months because of a toothache. After coming to the Give Kids A Smile Day, dozens of kids are now on their way to being pain free."

The American Dental Association created 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

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