CHICAGO--Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will celebrate "Give Kids a Smile Day" from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Feb. 5, 2009, with students from St. Malachy School at the University of Illinois at Chicago's College of Dentistry.
Hosted by the American Dental Association, the campaign draws attention to the crisis in access to dental care by offering a day of free dental services and education for underserved children.
Volunteers who include UIC dental students and dental hygiene students from Kennedy-King College will provide free dental examinations, fluoride treatments and oral health education to third- and fifth-grade students from St. Malachy's. The Chicago Dental Society and Colgate will supply educational materials to the children.
On average, America's youngest and poorest children have nearly five times as much tooth decay as children from higher-income families, and dental problems are often left untreated.
About 23 million children in the United States have no dental coverage. Statistics show that these children are 2.5 times less likely than insured children to receive oral health care. In Illinois, only 27.6 percent of Medicaid-eligible kids received any kind of dental services in 2003.
To highlight such issues, the American Dental Association launched the Give Kids a Smile campaign in 2003. This year, more than 12,000 dentists across the country will participate in the initiative, providing free education and screening services to underserved children.
For more information, go to University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.
To read more about the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, go to University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry.
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