VCU School of Dentistry brightens kids smiles at annual oral health event

By John Wallace and Vernon Freeman

Approximately 100 children from Richmond and bordering communities smiled a very little brighter many thanks to Virginia Commonwealth University Faculty of Dentistry’s annual Give Young children a Smile event on Friday, February 17, 2023.

Give Little ones a Smile is a national movement started by the American Dental Affiliation encouraging oral health and fitness care suppliers to provide a day of free of charge dental care to underinsured households in celebration of Countrywide Children’s Dental Health and fitness Month in February. This calendar year, the Pediatric Dental Clinic at VCU School of Dentistry furnished treatment valued at more than $50,000 to 98 kids.

“We want our kids, specifically our college-age little ones, to be capable to go to school and prosper and pay back attention in class. We know that young ones with dental decay could possibly miss a lot of college,” stated Paula Coates, D.D.S., M.S., assistant professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at VCU University of Dentistry. “Cavities are the range a person difficulty we see, which is why preventive treatment is so significant.”


According to the Facilities for Disease Manage and Prevention, tooth decay is the range just one continual illness impacting school-age youngsters. Very poor oral wellness disproportionately influences youngsters from reduced-revenue people, who have a tendency to miss out on much more college and receive reduced grades than more healthy peers.

“I consider the most critical detail is educating the kids as effectively as the moms and dads,” reported Ji Yon Kim, a first-12 months dental student and just one of the function coordinators for her class. “Our focus below these days is to instruct them how to brush and floss, stay absent from sugary drinks ahead of bed and to notify them that it’s needed to arrive in for a checkup once in a although and to not wait around right up until they experience agony.”

Additional than 90 college students from the college volunteered at the event. Many of the first-and next-calendar year dental college students labored to teach members via games and functions, while junior and senior dental students supplied treatment in the clinic together with citizens and faculty associates. Solutions presented incorporated cleanings, applying sealants, positioning crowns, and, when required, extracting enamel.

“As a pediatric dentist, I persuade all moms and dads to locate a dental household by the time their boy or girl turns one,” reported Coates.

Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney also dropped by the party to present his help for oral health and fitness as an critical component of total overall health. He toured the clinic, spoke to families and spent time with learners to discover about what received them fascinated in dentistry.

Mayor Levar Stoney stands in the middle of a large group of VCU dentistry students holding a dinosaur toy and brushing its teeth.

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney stopped by the party to study a lot more about oral well being and the pursuits of VCU University of Dentistry learners. (VCU College of Dentistry)