Give Kids a Smile is a program from the American Dental Association, one of the leading advocates for oral health. It was launched in 2003, providing children with free oral health care. The program’s mission is to ensure access to quality oral healthcare for children nationwide. UVU students have the opportunity to work with them, and volunteer in their annual event that provides dental care to children.
Community Health Connect partnered with Give Kids a Smile to help children’s dental health in Utah County. Andrea Barrera and Nathaly Vasquez, are CHC managers overseeing the event. They host a single-day event at the end of February each year, where they provide free dental care to kids in the community. This year, the event will be held on Feb. 26 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Utah College of Dental Hygiene.
“This event is so important because every child deserves to have access to good oral healthcare,” said Lorenzo Martinez, a member of the social media team for Give Kids a Smile. “This event provides us with the ability to reach into the community and serve those kids that are suffering in silence. We love our community and we’re excited to give back to the members of it.”
The program is made possible because of the support of the community through donations and volunteers. Dentists donate their time, and supplies are donated by Henry Schein, a worldwide dental and medical supplies distributor.
Many of the volunteers that will be at the event are students from surrounding colleges, including the Dental Center in Orem, Brigham Young University, Utah College of Dental Hygiene and UVU Dental Hygiene Clinic. The children who attend the event will be provided with X-rays and teeth cleanings. They will also be seen by a dentist who will perform necessary treatments.
“Permission slips and consent forms are handed out at primarily Title I elementary schools with the help of school nurses” said Barrera. “We also recruit participants from those who seek services at Community Health Connect.”
Families are encouraged to attend the event and have their children’s teeth checked up.
If you or someone you know doesn’t have access to a dentist or insurance, UVU’s dental hygiene clinic offers affordable clinic appointments and dental care for any age patient. To make an appointment go to their website, or call 801-863-7608.
For other health concerns please visit CHC to learn about their affordable health services.
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