VCU School of Dentistry brightens kids smiles at annual oral health event

By John Wallace and Vernon Freeman

Just about 100 little ones from Richmond and surrounding communities smiled a minimal brighter thanks to Virginia Commonwealth College University of Dentistry’s yearly Give Young ones a Smile occasion on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Give Little ones a Smile is a nationwide motion started out by the American Dental Affiliation encouraging oral wellbeing care companies to present a working day of cost-free dental treatment to underinsured families in celebration of Nationwide Children’s Dental Overall health Thirty day period in February. This 12 months, the Pediatric Dental Clinic at VCU University of Dentistry supplied care valued at a lot more than $50,000 to 98 small children.

“We want our youngsters, specifically our school-age young children, to be in a position to go to university and prosper and pay out awareness in class. We know that little ones with dental decay may well miss out on a ton of faculty,” reported Paula Coates, D.D.S., M.S., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at VCU Faculty of Dentistry. “Cavities are the variety one situation we see, which is why preventive care is so crucial.”

In accordance to the Facilities for Illness Command and Avoidance, tooth decay is the number a person continual condition impacting school-age little ones. Lousy oral health disproportionately has an effect on kids from lessen-earnings households, who are inclined to miss out on far more school and receive lower grades than more healthy peers.

“I believe the most important factor is educating the youngsters as very well as the dad and mom,” mentioned Ji Yon Kim, a very first-calendar year dental university student and one of the event coordinators for her course. “Our target listed here today is to instruct them how to brush and floss, keep absent from sugary beverages in advance of bed and to notify them that it is necessary to arrive in for a checkup as soon as in a whilst and to not wait right until they truly feel discomfort.”

Extra than 90 learners from the faculty volunteered at the party. Quite a few of the initially-and 2nd-12 months dental students labored to teach contributors by games and things to do, whilst junior and senior dental pupils furnished treatment in the clinic along with residents and faculty users. Solutions offered bundled cleanings, implementing sealants, putting crowns, and, when necessary, extracting tooth.

“As a pediatric dentist, I inspire all mom and dad to discover a dental residence by the time their kid turns one,” mentioned Coates.

Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney also dropped by the party to display his support for oral health as an vital element of all round wellbeing. He toured the clinic, spoke to families and expended time with pupils to understand about what obtained them intrigued in dentistry.

Mayor Levar Stoney stands in the middle of a large group of VCU dentistry students holding a dinosaur toy and brushing its teeth.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney stopped by the event to learn a lot more about oral health and fitness and the passions of VCU College of Dentistry learners. (VCU University of Dentistry)