Stony Brook’s School of Dental Medicine provided free oral health education, dental screening, exams, and cleanings to more than 200 children at the annual Give Kids a Smile Day on February 5. The event is the centerpiece of the American Dental Association (ADA) National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Sponsored by the ADA, Give Kids a Smile is a one-day event each February and part of a national campaign to provide dental care and promote the importance of oral health to children who might not have ready access due to their economic status. Many families on Long Island do not have adequate dental insurance or the means to provide for proper preventive care for their children.
“This is one of the great days of the year, and we are thrilled to help so many who are in need of oral health education and dental care,” said Ray C. Williams, Dean of the School of Dental Medicine. “Not only were we able to provide the care children needed that day but we also assisted families in helping them find a dental home for preventive care and future treatments.”
The School of Dental Medicine has participated in the program for eight consecutive years. This year Stony Brook Southampton participated for the first time. Dental professionals and students provided free oral health services to 34 children at Southampton.
Also new to SBUMC’s Give Kids a Smile Day was the launch of a new initiative by the Suffolk County Dental Society called the Save-a-Smile program, which was offered to families participating in Give Kids a Smile Day who do not meet the criteria for Medicaid or Child/Family Health Plus. The program provides oral health care for such families/individuals. A referral list of dentists and information on how to obtain Child/Family Health Plus Insurance was provided to families.