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OHSU School of Dentistry students combine service with education

Providing information and oral care while giving back to the community is an essential part of dental education at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry. That’s why for the next two months dental students are coordinating several large-scale events to highlight the importance of oral health care, particularly for children.

Give Kids a Smile day

8 a.m., Friday, Feb. 3
OHSU School of Dentistry, Pre-doctoral Clinic, 611 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland

About 80 to 160 uninsured children from local Boys and Girls Clubs who’ve been pre-screened for treatment will receive free oral care from third- and fourth-year dental students and pediatric dentistry residents under the supervision of faculty and alumni. This is the 10th year OHSU School of Dentistry is sponsoring Give Kids a Smile day, which is coordinated by senior dental students in conjunction with Multnomah Dental Society under the umbrella of the American Dental Association. Many of the Boys and Girls Clubs’ children rise before dawn for long-distance travel to the dental school because it is the one time each year they get to see a dentist. The OHSU School of Dentistry previously hosted Portland Public Schools (PPS) children for the event, but PPS is no longer able to provide school nurses who can coordinate travel and supervision of PPS children on Give Kids a Smile day.

Sealant Day

9:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 17
OHSU School of Dentistry, Dr. and Mrs. Carl Rietman Pediatric Dentistry Clinic, 611 S.W. Campus Drive, Portland

Fourth-year dental students and pediatric dentistry residents will provide free dental sealants to about 35 pre-screened Buckman Arts Elementary School second-graders. This is the 14th year the dental school has hosted children from Buckman, the majority of whom are uninsured.

Celebration of Smiles

4 to 8 p.m., Friday, March 2 (free and open to the public)
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 3 ($9 per person)
Portland Children’s Museum, 4015 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland

Celebration of Smiles is open to all children and families to highlight the importance of early and regular oral health care. In 2011, more than 2,000 individuals attended Celebration of Smiles. Children can fish for tooth prizes, make tooth pillows, play tooth beanbag toss, and brush Wally Gator’s teeth, among other activities. The Tooth Fairy and Mr. Molarnator also will be on hand for photos and high-fives. Celebration of Smiles is a student-organized event, with sponsorship by OHSU School of Dentistry, Portland Children’s Museum, and local dental societies. Colgate is donating toothpaste.

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