CWRU and Cleveland dentists host “Give Kids a Smile” day

Volunteers from Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and Greater Cleveland Dental Society have partnered to provide 300 Cleveland school children free dental care during the 11 annual “Give Kids a Smile” program on Friday, Feb. 1.

The event also marks the first day of the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, and a time to emphasize the importance of oral health and its link to a person’s overall health.

Students from St. Adalbert School, Carl and Louis Central Academy, and Clark Elementary School will visit the CWRU dental clinic from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for free exams, x-rays and cleanings, as well as a package of dental products.

At the event—coordinated by Daniel Gindi and Amberlee Taylor, both CWRU clinical professors and members of the dental society—the children will learn about dental care from the volunteers, videos and even puppets. The event also will include T-shirts, oral-healthcare supplies, a chance to meet Cleveland sports mascots and a visit from the tooth fairy.

In Ohio, “Give Kids a Smile” began in 2003 as a national American Dental Association project to provide access to dental care for underserved children.  CWRU has hosted the program since its inception. The Cleveland site is among a number of other sites across the state where 1,600 dental volunteers are expected to give nearly 17,000 children a range of free dental services, according to the Ohio Dental Association.

ODA President Kim Gardner, of Chardon, estimated 182,000 children in Ohio have received about $9.2 million in free dental care in the past decade.