FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Relations Manager
Media Relations Assistant
Howard University College of Dentistry
Participates in Give Kids A Smile Program
Washington, D.C., February 6, 2006 – Howard University College of Dentistry in conjunction with The District of Columbia Dental Society and the American Dental Association (ADA) will participate in the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” on Friday, February 10, 2006, 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Councilmember David A. Catania (At-large) will serve as honorary chairman of the event which will be held at Howard University College of Dentistry, 600 W Street, NW. An estimated 200 children from Raymond Elementary School will receive free dental services ranging from education, treatment and follow-up care.
“Howard University is pleased to participate in Give Kids A Smile to help eliminate oral health disparities in our children,” said Leo Rouse, D.D.S., F.A.C.D., dean, Howard University College of Dentistry. “This event is special to us because the social impact of oral diseases in children is substantial and this presents an opportunity for neighborhood schoolchildren to receive dental services in a caring environment.”
Give Kids A Smile is a nationwide program first held by the ADA in 2003 to provide care and raise awareness to the importance of access to dental care for low-income children. The goal is to provide care for children in Washington, D.C. most in need. Volunteers include practicing dentists and staff and Howard University College of Dentistry faculty members and students.
According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of U.S. children, two to nine years of age, suffer from untreated tooth decay. While poor diet and oral hygiene play a role, cavities are actually caused by a disease called caries, which is five times more common than asthma.
The National Institutes of Health reports that 80 percent of tooth decay is found in 25 percent of children, primarily from low-income families. Public health programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are meant to help underserved children, however utilization rates are low.
Give Kids A Smile is supported by generous contributions from Crest Healthy Smiles, the exclusive provider of consumer products, which donates toothbrushes, toothpaste and educational materials; Sullivan-Schein Dental, the exclusive professional product distributor for Give Kids A Smile; and Dexis® Digital X-ray Systems, which provides dental supplies and equipment to participating dental schools.
Howard University is one of 48 U.S. private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive universities and comprises 12 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar, seven Fulbright Scholars and nine Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s Web site at www.Howard.edu.
Note to the Media
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month
May 2006 marks the 125th anniversary of Howard University College of Dentistry
The Future is Now! African Americans in Dentistry exhibit is on display at Howard University’s Louis Stokes Health Sciences Library, 501 W Street, N.W., through May 15, 2006. Four Washington, D.C. dental professionals are featured as “Hometown Heroes” in this exhibition created by the Baltimore-based Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (NMD), an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This is the fifth leg of this national tour which highlights the important roles that African-Americans have played and continue to play in the dental community.