Give Kids A Smile
Give Kids A Smile®, an annual one-day volunteer initiative to provide free educational, preventive and restorative services to children from low-income families. This event is part of the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile Program, which is celebrating its 12th anniversary in 2014.
Give Kids A Smile is held annually to raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease among children from low income families here in Michigan and across the country and to build local public and private partnerships to increase access to oral health care to solve this crisis.
Oral health is integral to overall health. Untreated dental disease is painful and affects a child’s physical, emotional and social development. Kids with untreated dental decay can’t eat or sleep properly; they can’t concentrate in school, not to mention how it affects them emotionally. Dental disease among kids from underserved families is epidemic. 80 percent of children’s tooth decay is found in just 25 percent of children. Yet many children enrolled in Medicaid never see a dentist throughout the year.
Dental disease is preventable. Brushing, flossing, eating a balanced diet, regular dental visits and having access to fluoride and sealants are ways to prevent dental disease. Ultimately, the money spent on prevention saves a lot more money down the road in dental treatment.
On February 8nd, 2014, students, faculty, staff and alumni of University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry (UDM Dental) are volunteering to provide dental care to underserved children in the Detroit Metropolitan Area.