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'Give Kids a Smile Day' bringing healthy grins to Buffalo youth for 15th year

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Wed, Feb 3rd 2016 01:55 pm

By the University at Buffalo

Tooth fairies and life-sized teddy bears can mean only one thing: the return of the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine's "Give Kids a Smile Day."

The annual event, now in its 15th year, will welcome more 600 children - including nearly 400 Head Start students - and hundreds of volunteers, whom include UB dental school faculty, staff, students, and private dentists and their staff who are donating their time to provide care.

The event is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in the Squire Hall lobby, with dental clinics on the first and third floors on the UB South Campus. (South Campus map: http://www.buffalo.edu/buildings/maps/SouthCampus.pdf.)

Throughout the day, children will receive free dental treatment and cleanings. While they wait, kids can enjoy hands-on activities, games, dental videos and oral health instruction from Mr. Tooth and UB Bulls mascot Victor E. Bull.

Guests include Rep. Brian Higgins and Erie County Health Commissioner Gale R. Burstein.

"We are in a profession where being kind is a daily responsibility," said M. Dian ChinKit-Wells, clinical assistant professor in the UB department of pediatric and community dentistry. "We are a group of people who are always on the search for an opportunity to serve the community and make others happy. It means one less kid with cavities, one less teenager with a toothache, and one less unhealthy smile."

Give Kids a Smile Day, held in partnership with the American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association and 8th District Dental Society, is part of a national effort to teach children good dental health habits while they're young to avoid major oral health problems later in life.

Parking is available in the Squire, Tower and Michael-Farber lots. Squire Hall is No. 19 on the online map and its lot is right next to the building - valet parking is available. Farber Hall is No. 25. Michael Hall is No. 26. Their lot is between them.

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