Since 2002, our office has participated in the Give Kids A Smile Day program. This is a nationwide effort, sponsored by the American Dental Association, to provide free dental care to children under the age of 18 who do not have access to care. Throughout the country as many as 500,000 kids a year receive free dental care.
The CityScape Dental team sets aside the first Friday of February to serve up to 20 kids, providing preventive care training, screenings, cleanings, and simple restorations.
It is gratifying to see several families come back for the second and even third year. For some, this is their only opportunity for dental care. Often it is the child serving as interpreter to the parent, passing on what we have tried to teach the kids during their short visit to our office.
For instance, one young teenage girl returned recently to have her teeth repaired before the decay could develop into a toothache and an unsightly smile. In return, we received a smile, a hug, and a sincere, heartfelt "Thank you" in broken English from the parent. What better reward is there?
Access to dental care is something that we may take for granted. But for many children in our communities, this is luxury their families cannot provide. If you know someone who might qualify for the next Give Kids A Smile Day event, please have them call the United Way 2-1-1 service or our office at (612) 332-5916 for details.