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UB's 'Give Kids A Smile Day' adds free vision care to new focus on overall health

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Mon, Feb 4th 2019 01:15 pm

Since inception, program has treated nearly 10,000 WNY children

The University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine will host its 18th annual “Give Kids A Smile Day,” a national program dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence of untreated dental disease and teaching children good dental health habits.

This year, the school will continue its expansion of services beyond oral health care to include free eye examinations from optometrists, as well as services from nurses, dieticians, social workers and audiologists.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, in Squire Hall, South Campus. Click HERE for a map.

Openings are still available. Children between the ages 1-18 are welcome. To register, call 716-829-2780 or visit ubdental.com.

The school will provide more than 200 Western New York schoolchildren with free health screenings and dental treatment, including orthodontic assessments.

Throughout the day, children will receive oral health exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments, and, if needed, X-rays, fillings or extractions. While they wait, kids can enjoy hands-on activities, games, dental videos and oral health instruction from Buffalo Sabres mascot Sabretooth.

With a new focus on overall health, the program will also offer eye examinations, screenings for hearing loss, guidance on healthy eating, and assistance in determining Medicaid eligibility and in finding a permanent dental home. Nurse practitioners will be available to answer general health questions, and dieticians will provide demonstrations on how to prepare healthy school lunches.

New services will be provided through Davis Vision and an interprofessional collaboration with UB’s School of Nursing, School of Public Health and Health Professions, School of Social Work, and department of communicative disorders and sciences.

“Give Kids A Smile Day” is held each February in celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month. The event provides needed care to families who may be uninsured or underinsured.

The program is supported by hundreds of volunteers, including UB dental school faculty, staff and students, as well as private dentists and optometrists and their staff who donate their time to provide care.

The event is held in partnership with the American Dental Association, New York State Dental Association and the Eighth District Dental Society. The program’s sponsor is Fidelis Care, a health plan that provides health insurance to more than 1.6 million New York state residents.

Click HERE to learn more about “Give Kids A Smile Day.”

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