Dentistry's Faculty and Student Volunteers “Give Kids a Smile!”
Dentistry students and faculty members joined together last Thursday
(February 19th) for the 7th annual “Give Kids a Smile Day,” as part
of a national initiative by the American Dental Association (ADA) to
focus attention on untreated oral disease among children from
Ohio State’s student-planned effort helped children at
Elementary School -- with the support of the College of Dentistry
and the Ohio Dental Association (ODA).
Sunny Pahouja, a College of Dentistry student and the Chapter
President for the American Student Dental Association (ASDA), was
key in planning this event. “It’s a great opportunity to give back
because these kids don’t have a chance to receive dental care since
their access to it is so limited,” Pahouja said. “It makes us feel
good to get involved because we can use what we’ve learned as dental
About 250 children at Broadleigh received free dental services that
included free dental exams, fluoride varnishes, oral health care
products, and educational materials that explain the connection
between good oral health -- and good health in general. The College
of Dentistry’s Office of Community Education, directed by Dr. Canise
Bean, plans to return to Broadleigh and address more complex dental
needs that were identified during the exams.
Some dental students volunteered to answer questions and to show
children how to brush and floss their teeth. Tina Crist, the school
nurse at Broadleigh, commented that teaching children in this age
group is especially important.
“These kids are losing their baby teeth and they’re growing new
teeth now that will be there for the rest of their lives,” she said.
“It’s so important to get that teaching when they come in so they
can take care of the new teeth.”
The day’s events ended with a burst of excitement as Brutus Buckeye
appeared for a surprise visit and some play time with the children.
Having spent the day getting oral health education and dental
treatments, the children hugged and played with Brutus, their
favorite Buckeye, who gave all of the children -- and the volunteers
-- their biggest and best smile of the day.