2,000 Children to Benefit from ADA’s Give Kids A Smile

More than 2,000 San Francisco children will benefit from three days of free oral health screenings, education and treatment Oct. 15-17 at two schools and a hospital.

Approximately 150 dentists, hygienists, dental students, dental staffs and other generous volunteers will participate in the Give Kids A Smile program to help underserved children receive needed oral health education and services.

The American Dental Association (ADA) is collaborating with the San Francisco Dental Society, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures and the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation for the local events.

“The San Francisco Dental Society has a long history of partnering with the SF Department of Public Health and San Francisco Unified School District to provide oral health services and education to San Francisco’s Children, with the greatest success of providing screenings to nearly 100% of San Francisco kindergarteners since 2001,” said Dr. Courtney Fitzpatrick, president, San Francisco Dental Society. “We are delighted to expand this year’s efforts as part of the ADA’s GKAS program, furthering our collaborative efforts working with Colgate, Sesame Street, and the American Dental Association.”

Program activities will be held at:

· Oct 15- Gordon J. Lau Elementary School, 950 Clay St., 8:40 a.m.-2 p.m. School children will receive oral health education, and children in four grade levels will receive screenings.

· Oct. 16- E.R. Taylor Elementary School, 423 Burrows St., 8:40 a.m.-2 p.m. School children will receive oral health education, and children in four grade levels will receive screenings.

· Oct. 17- , San Francisco General Hospital, WIC program, 2550 23rd St., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Children will receive oral health screenings, education as well as other needed services such as fillings and sealants from Native American Health Center. Sesame Street’s beloved Walkaround Abby Cadabby will also be on hand.

All children will take home backpacks of donated materials, including a toothbrush and toothpaste from Colgate’s Bright Smiles Bright Futures program as well as a Sesame Street’s Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me outreach kit.

“More than 16 million children have untreated tooth decay which gets worse over time, resulting in persistent pain, infection and embarrassment,” said ADA President Dr. William R. Calnon.” Give Kids A Smile is the ADA’s signature oral health access program designed to encourage parents, health professionals and policymakers to address the year-round need for oral health care for all children.”

Celebrating its 10th year, the ADA’s National Give Kids A Smile volunteers provide free oral health care services to more than 400,000 underserved children across the country each year.

The ADA is in San Francisco for its 2012 Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition at the Moscone Convention Center Oct. 18-21. The ADA strives to conduct some type of charitable event in the city where its Annual Session is held as a way to give back to the community.

For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.