Give Kids a Smile Day at SIU offers dental care for children
Openings remained as of last week for the annual Give Kids a Smile Day which is set for March 2 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.
The event offers free dental care to children from infants to 14 years old who do not receive regular dental treatment and do not have regular access to dental care.
The university’s dental hygiene program, in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Dental Society and the Southern Illinois Dental Hygiene Society, provide the service.
The event is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the SIU Carbondale Community Dental Center, which is west of the SIU Arena.
About 40 openings are still available. In its 16th year, the program, which began in 2003 with about 50 children participating over two days, has grown to an average of about 240 children each of the past eight years.
Participating children will receive dental examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and fillings, or simple extractions under special circumstances.
The program also works to find a “dental home” for patients if there is a need for additional treatment.
Appointments are preferred. Appointments can be made by calling the center at 618-453-8826 and specify the visit is for Give Kids a Smile Day.
Approximately 100 students and 16 faculty from the dental hygiene program, along with volunteer dentists and hygienists, will provide the free care.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines suggest that infants should visit a dentist when their teeth begin to emerge.
The dental hygiene program provides the service in conjunction with the Southern Illinois Dental Hygienists’ Society, Saluki Athletics and the Southern Illinois Dental Society.
The program is in the SIU School of Allied Health, which is within the SIU College of Applied Sciences and Arts.