Give Kids a Smile is a nationwide oral health event. The goal is to provide preventative dental services and oral health education to children in the community and raise awareness of access to oral health care issues that many families still face.
Services will be provided by the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) dental program students and professionals from the school and community, including dental program faculty, as well as the NMSU Pre-dental Society, local dentists and dental hygienists.
“We want to raise awareness about oral health care disparities and the importance of routine dental appointments,” said Cher Lefebvre, dental hygiene clinical coordinator. “Oral health care is necessary for overall health and the DACC dental health clinic is here to help.”
Free dental exams, radiographs, teeth cleanings, sealants, fluoride treatments, and oral health education will be provided in the dental clinic on the Central Campus adjacent to NMSU at 3400 South Espina, Building DAMA, room 80. The clinic will take place on Friday, February 3rd, from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm.
“Give Kids a Smile is a great annual event for children who participate, our students and volunteers from the community,” Lefebvre said. “Students are able to share their knowledge with the patients and the participating children and their families learn the value of oral health.”
According to the national Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the U. S. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing and learning.
- 1 of 5 children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth
- 1 of 7 adolescents aged 12 to 19 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth
- The percentage of children and adolescents aged 5 to 19 years with untreated tooth decay is twice as high for those from low-income families (25%) compared to high income households (11%)
If one knows a child or children who may benefit from dental services, please have their family make an appointment by calling 575-528-7019. The clinic is for children ages 2 – 18, by appointment only and must include the presence and consent of a parent or legal guardian.
DACC has two dental programs, dental assisting and dental hygiene.
This is the 15th year of the American Dental Association annual event. February is National Children’s Dental Health Care Month and the DACC Dental Program students and staff look forward to participating to highlight the month. More than 1,300 programs nationwide will participate in free clinics on that day.