Brighten up: Dental school faculty, students to provide care to 400 Cleveland elementary students

During last year's Give Kids a Smile Day, Michael Semidey, who was then a fourth-year student, showed proper brushing technique to a Scranton Elementary student. Photo by Susan Griffith.

Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine faculty and students will help brighten the smiles of nearly 400 Cleveland elementary school students Feb. 3, as part of the American Dental Association’s 10th annual Give Kids a Smile Day.

The dental school has been selected as the official launch site for the 2012 Give Kids a Smile Day, during which volunteers will provide examinations, education and treatment to students from William Cullen Bryant, Clark and Scranton elementary schools and Carl & Louis Stokes Central Academy.

“Our ongoing commitment to this important event—as well as our other outreach programs—is indicative of the School of Dental Medicine’s dedication to improving the oral health of our community,” said Dean Jerold Golberg.

Others taking part in the Give Kids a Smile Day on campus are members and officers of the Ohio Dental Association and Greater Cleveland Dental Society and dentists from the Irving and Jeanne Tapper Pediatric Dental Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile of Northeastern Ohio.

Additionally, Provost W.A. “Bud” Baeslack III, School of Dental Medicine Dean Jerold Golberg, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Department of Health Director Theodore Wymyslo, ODA President-elect Kim Gardner and City of Cleveland Director of Public Health Karen Butler will all speak at the event.

Dental care will begin in the two dental clinics at 8:45 a.m. and continue for about four hours. Children will receive dental exams, fluoride varnish, sealants and x-rays if necessary, and oral hygiene instruction. In addition, the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile will be set up outside the entrance to provide restorative care to about 20 children who have been pre-examined and diagnosed in need of care.

Give Kids a Smile is a national initiative of the American Dental Association in which dental professionals throughout the U.S. volunteer collectively on one designated day to provided much-needed oral health care and education; now, the program has grown to a multiple-day event in Ohio, sponsored by the Ohio Dental Association. Throughout the year, more than 1,800 dentists and other volunteers from around Ohio will provide free services to almost 17,000 children.

The estimated value of free services for the 2012 Give Kids a Smile Day in Ohio is $926,500; in the first nine years, Ohio dental volunteers provided more than $8.2 million in free dental services to more than 168,000 Ohio children.

For more information on Give Kids a Smile Day, visit