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Hundreds of RI Kids Get Free Dental Care at “Give Kids a Smile Day”

Friday, February 24, 2012

 

Lots of smiles went around at "Give Kids a Smile Day" this year.

There were a lot of smiles all around. The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital recently celebrated the 10th annual “Give Kids a Smile Day” (GKAS) with hundreds of underserved, underinsured children throughout Rhode Island receiving dental care in clinics and private dental offices statewide. As the centerpiece to National Children’s Dental Health Month, and sponsored by the Rhode Island Dental Association, GKAS was designed to provide dental care to low-income children who would not otherwise have access to care, while also highlighting the importance of dental coverage for children’s health.

Children received dental screenings, oral examinations, radiographs, cleanings, fillings and educational materials at the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital. The daylong event included visits from Paws, the PawSox mascot, Mr. Potato Head, hospital therapy dogs, and many hospital representatives and other volunteers as children waited to see their dentist and dental hygienist. All dental supplies for the day were donated by national sponsor Henry Schein and Patterson Dental.

Amos House provided breakfast for the event, while Texas Roadhouse supplied lunch. Refreshments such as cake, beverages and paper supplies were provided by East Side Marketplace, Stop & Shop and Shaw’s Supermarkets. Members of Team Hasbro, Hasbro, Inc’s employee volunteer program, helped to brighten the time children spent waiting by bringing toys and games to play with, as well as one for each child to take home. One Team Hasbro volunteer even served as a cartoon artist, drawing pictures of the children as superheroes. The Hasbro Children’s Hospital Family Resource Center also provided books for patients to read and take home with them.

“As the centerpiece to National Children’s Dental Health Month, GKAS was designed to provide dental care to low-income children who would not otherwise have access to care, while also highlighting the importance of dental coverage for children’s health,” said Shirley Spater Freedman, D.M.D., director of the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital.  “This year marks a decade since the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center’s GKAS program launched as a banner program for the state, creating dental homes for hundreds of Rhode Island children.”

For more information about Give Kids a Smile Day, contact the Rhode Island Dental Association at 401-825-7700.

 

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