More than 40 children between the ages of 1 and 17 visited the Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) Teaching Practices Clinic for free oral care on February 3 as part of its annual Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) program. Student, faculty, and staff volunteers provided exams, cleanings, sealants, X-rays, and educational activities.
“Each and every volunteer and participant made such an incredible impact in such a short time. We cared for 42 children, and I’m sure we’ll see many of those families again in our clinics soon with everyone’s incredible focus on continuity of care for these families,” said HSDM student Marissa Price, one of the event’s organizers and a GKAS Leadership Ambassador with the ADA Foundation.
“They loved it,” said Luereta Sealey, who brought Ayrum and LaMara Harris to the clinic for dental care. “This is an excellent program. We will definitely return.
This year, the ADA reports that 1,362 GKAS events have been scheduled, with 6,709 dentists and 24,049 other volunteers serving 292,779 children. The ADA first launched Give Kids a Smile in 2003, serving more than 5.5 million children over the past 15 years. Also, the ADA Foundation has provided more than $1.7 million in support to local programs nationwide.
“I look forward to seeing Give Kids a Smile continue to grow at HSDM and to working with this unbelievable team of students, coordinators, faculty, and staff again next year,” Price said.