Volunteer dentists from the Southern Ohio Dental Society and students in the Shawnee State University Dental Hygiene Program provided free dental care to children in need on Feb. 5 through the Give Kids A Smile program.
The Give Kids A Smile program is a collaborative effort among the American Dental Association, the Ohio Dental Association and other state and component dental societies throughout the U.S. to provide dental care to children without dental coverage.
Volunteer dentists and students in the Shawnee State University Dental Hygiene Program provided free dental care to about 70 students from Portsmouth City Schools and New Boston Local Schools. The children received oral exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, X-rays and oral health education, and the group donated about $8,000 in dental services through the event.
“It was inspiring to see everyone come together to help the children in need of dental services,” said Ohio Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) who attended the event. “I was impressed that Dr. Bob Nelson, Dr. Teresa Martin and Dr. Amy Heim dedicated their own time to this program. Their commitment serves as an excellent representation of the supportive and compassionate community you find in Portsmouth.”
Since 2009, the Southern Ohio Dental Society event at Shawnee State University has provided more than $50,000 in donated dental care to over 400 children.
“We’ve done this event for several years and unfortunately still see a significant amount of dental decay in our kids, especially ages 6 to 9,” said Dr. Hal Jeter, president of the Southern Ohio Dental Society. “It’s our hope that again this year through this event we are providing some intervention for these kids that they wouldn’t otherwise get and that they will finally be able to receive definitive treatment. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to give back to our community through our profession and Give Kids A Smile.”
Through the Give Kids A Smile program, dentists and dental professionals across the state and nation volunteer their time to provide screenings, treatments and oral health education to children. Across Ohio, more than 380 dentists and 1,600 dental professionals and educators will volunteer to educate children about good oral health and provide dental services to Ohio’s underserved children.
Ohio Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) and Dr. Bob Nelson with students from the Shawnee State University Dental Hygiene Program at a Give Kids A Smile event on Feb. 5.