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Dental School Sets Fifth Annual "Give Kids a Smile Day"

By Lois Baker

Release Date: January 25, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eight hundred children and their parents are scheduled to fill dental clinics in the School of Dental Medicine at the University at Buffalo and the Pediatric Dental Clinic at Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo on Feb. 2 to take part in the fifth annual Give Kids a Smile Day.

Children from across Western New York who do not have access to dental care will receive dental treatment free of charge that day, national Give Kids a Smile Day, as part of UB dental school's community outreach initiative. Six-hundred-fifty children have appointments at UB and another 150 are scheduled to be treated at the hospital.

More than 200 volunteers, including UB dental school faculty, staff and students; Women and Children's Hospital dentist and staff; private dentists and their staff; and students and faculty from UB's Equal Opportunity Center's Dental Assisting Program and Erie Community College's Hygiene Program will help to keep the day running smoothly.

Children ages 1-18 from local Head Start centers and elementary, middle and high schools will receive a dental exam, fluoride treatment, X-rays, sealant, oral hygiene instruction and other treatment or consultations as needed. Each child will leave the clinic with a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss.

There also will be tours, hands-on activities, dental videos and oral hygiene instruction.

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.

Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo, Ivoclar Vivadent, Inc., Patterson Dental and the Eighth District Dental Society are local co-sponsors.

Nationally, the event is supported by the American Dental Association, Colgate and Sullivan-Schein, a dental supply company. More than 750,000 children nationwide are expected to participate in Give Kids a Smile Day.