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For Immediate Release:

Ron Harris
Director of Communications

Scores of Kids Get Free Care at “Give Kids a Smile Day”

Photo by Justin D. Knight
Dieyie Thiam, a second grade student at Bancroft Elementary School, gets free dental care during the seventh annual "Give Kids A Smile Day" hosted by the Howard University College of Dentistry, the D.C. Dental Society and the American Dental Association.

WASHINGTON (Feb. 6) – It was early Friday morning when more than 160 anxious and quiet elementary school students from Bancroft Elementary School began streaming out of two long buses and into the basement of Howard University’s College of Dentistry. By mid-afternoon, those same children, playful and giggling, reboarded those same buses, but this time with a new smile, courtesy of volunteers from the College of Dentistry, the D.C. Dental Society and the American Dental Association.

It was the 7th annual “Give Kids a Smile Day,” a day when scores of children who do not have regular access to oral health care get free dental treatment -- ranging from repair of decayed teeth, dental cleanings and fluoride treatments to protect teeth.
Beginning at 9:30 a.m., every chair in the basement dental facility at the school was filled with little people, each being serviced by dozens of volunteer dentists, dental students and dental hygienists.

“I thought the event was very successful,” said Dr. Candace Mitchell, the college’s director of operations for the Community-based evening clinic. “From the faculty, staff, dentist and students, everyone did a wonderful job to make sure the day was a success.”
She especially noted how the dentist, volunteers, and staff did a wonderful job helping the children get through what could be a stressful situation and how well-mannered the children were.”

“The students are well in touch with the people who are in need in the community,” she said.

It was the first year helping out for Jakeelah White, a second-year dental hygienist student.

“This experience was really nice,” White said, “Not only was it fun, but I got to meet and help out some really great kids.”
The event kicked off National Dental Health Month. Thousands of children in cities across the nation received similar care as part of the American Dental Association’s effort.

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