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All Smiles at Give Kids a Smile Day

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Second-year dental student Christie Duong works with a young patient. Photo credit Triet Vuong (D3)

By Edmundo Abasolo
Contributing Writer

Despite the rain, it was all smiles at UCSF Dentistry’s jungle-themed Give Kids a Smile Day 2014.  Through the efforts of our volunteers, which included student dentists, pre-dental students, faculty and staff, children from all over the Bay Area received dental care and oral health education free of charge. 

The annual event attracted 121 children from San Francisco and the surrounding areas received care. Services provided included oral health screenings, prophylaxis/coronal polishing, sealant placement and fluoride varnish.

The Division of Pediatric Dentistry residents, faculty, and alumni helped student providers perform exams, formulate treatment plans and provide care throughout the day.

These services would not have been possible without the generous donations of dental supplies from Henry Schein, Patterson Dental, GSK, Crest, Oral-B and Colgate, among others.  Additionally, a range of other health screenings and nutrition/lifestyle activities were provided by the Schweitzer Fellows from Bay Area health professions programs, including UCSF Dentistry’s Jolie Goodman (D3) and Emily Wineland (D3).

This year’s coordinators worked hard to ensure that children not only received necessary dental care, but also took away oral health awareness and preventative care measures, all in a fun and engaging environment.  In addition to dental goodie bags, youngsters received toys and prizes for partaking in educational games. Perhaps a major highlight for kids were the balloon sculptures handcrafted by local balloon artists. 

This event was crucial for many who attended because a large proportion of the children suffer from early childhood decay, lack dental insurance, and many have never seen a dentist before. For those with children entering grade school, these services also satisfy the California mandated K-1 oral health assessment.

Given the feedback received from parents, we are sure that this event was a success for all! When asked to reflect on the day, parents rated the event as excellent. One parent left a comment, stating  “Thank you for making dentistry a fun day. My kids and I learned so much, please have this event every year!”

Edmundo Abasolo is a third-year dental student.

2013 Give Kids A Smile Day Statistics:

Volunteers:

  • Total student volunteers (dental and pre-dental students): 135
  • Total staff/faculty volunteers: 27

Total Children Attended: 121

Treatments Rendered:

  • Prophylaxis/Coronal Polishing: 95
  • Total Sealants Placed: 108
  • Fluoride Varnish Applications: 77

Ages of Attendees:

  • 2-5 years: 25%
  • 6-12 years: 60%
  • 13-17 years: 15%

Dental Insurance:

  • None:  56%
  • DentiCal/MediCal: 21%
  • Private Insurance/Other: 23%

Ethnicity:

  • Asian: 43%                           
  • Caucasian: 16%                                   
  • Hispanic/Latin: 33%
  • African American: 6%
  • Other: 2%

Languages Spoken at Home:

  • 38% speak English at home
  • 27% speak Spanish at home
  • 31% speak Chinese at home
  • 4% speak another language at home

Statistics provided by Give Kids a Smile Day Coordinators EJ Abasolo (D3) and Jolie Goodman (D3)

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