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School of Dental HygieneCommunity Outreach

Give Kids a Smile Day

February is National Children's Dental Health Month, designed to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Developing effective oral care behaviors at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits helps children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. This month-long national health observance brings together thousands of dedicated dental professionals, health care providers and others to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and adults, caregivers, teachers and many others. Attitudes and habits established at an early age are critical in maintaining good oral health throughout life

Give Kids A Smile is an annual centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month, designed to provide education, preventive and or restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to care. In support of this initiative on Feb 11, 2012, Old Dominion University School of Dental Hygiene and the Tidewater Dental Association partnered to provide preventive dental services and examinations to locally underserved children.

Children from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia participated in this free event which provided education, dental examinations, dental x-rays, pit and fissure sealants and fluoride therapy to children free of charge. For the 10th year, area dentists and dental hygiene faculty and student volunteers have worked together to improve oral health outcomes in disadvantaged and undeserved local children. This year, approximately $11,000 in free dental services was provided.