Hundreds of children received free oral health care and learned about oral hygiene last week during the School of Dental Medicine’s ninth annual Give Kids A Smile Day, part of a national initiative to encourage healthy dental habits early in life.
From morning through the afternoon on Friday, young people and their parents flowed in and out of Squire Hall, South Campus, where volunteers welcomed them and checked coats. Patients, including boys and girls from Head Start who arrived on yellow school buses, received free dental exams, fluoride treatment, X-rays, sealant and instruction on how to take care of their teeth and gums.
Legions of volunteers, among them students, staff and faculty from UB, Erie Community College and the Educational Opportunity Center, offered services at sites that included Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Mercy Hospital and Squire Hall. At Squire, Smile Day participants filled two clinics, including a first-floor pediatric suite complete with pastel walls and stuffed teeth. Dentists and employees from private practices joined in the effort. Sabretooth, the Buffalo Sabres’ mascot, walked the hallways, posing for photographs with families.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown visited UB in the morning to offer support for the event, praising the dental school for its “tremendous work in the community.”
“You don’t hear about all of the work that they do,” Brown said, “but I can tell you they are in every section of the community, making sure that families, and in particular children, get good dental care. And we want to thank them for that.”