Release Date: February 1, 2024
BUFFALO, N.Y. – More than 270 children and adolescents from eight local schools will learn the best oral hygiene techniques, receive dental services and participate in hands-on activities during the 23rd annual “Give Kids a Smile” event on Monday, Feb. 5. It will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 1020 Humboldt Pkwy., in Buffalo.
The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine is partnering with the SUNY Erie Dental Hygiene School to provide cavity screenings, brushing and flossing lessons, and fluoride varnish applications to the young visitors, who range from 7 to 18 years of age.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and the American Dental Association (ADA)-sponsored Give Kids a Smile is a centerpiece program, providing health education and oral health services to children in need.
“The Science Museum is the perfect location for our 2024 Give Kids a Smile,” said Meelin Dian Chin Kit-Wells, clinical assistant professor of pediatric dentistry, who is coordinating this year’s event. “Our program will coincide with the museum’s Curious George exhibit and provide a fun, non-threatening space for kids to absorb preventative oral health lessons and receive services. Hosting Give Kids a Smile is one of the many ways that the dental school connects with the community.”
The children will have the opportunity to take part in interactive activities, including a scavenger hunt, dental workshop and story time where “Curious George Visits the Dentist” is read in different languages.
Students from the School of Dental Medicine and Dental Hygiene School, along with faculty members, have volunteered to make this a great learning experience for everyone.
“I am proud of our students and all who have volunteered to participate on this important day; they have also done so with excitement,” Chin Kit-Wells said. “This program provides such a service to our community and also prepares our students to work with children of all ages and abilities.”
At 10 a.m., Marcelo Araujo, dean of the UB School of Dental Medicine, and Byron Brown, mayor of the city of Buffalo, will address visitors on the museum’s interior second-floor balcony.
Events for the children will take place in the following locations:
The ADA and Fidelis Care, a health plan that provides quality, affordable health insurance to more than 1.6 million New York State residents, are the principal sponsors of the event.
Participating schools for 2024 are: BPS No. 59, BPS No. 90, BPS No. 99, Buffalo Hearing and Speech, Christ the King Elementary, West Buffalo Charter School, United Islamic High School, and BPS Occupational Training Center No. 42.