Neither mountains of snow, nor chilly temperatures deterred local families and volunteers from coming to Harvard School of Dental Medicine (HSDM) on Saturday, February 11 for the annual Give Kids a Smile Event. The popular event held in the Harvard Dental Center’s Teaching Practices was an opportunity for kids ages one to seventeen to receive free dental care and to learn about oral health.
“Even in the snow, we came, we brushed, and we smiled,” said Mirissa Price, DMD2019, co-coordinator of the Give Kids a Smile 2017 event. Price, along with Carolynn Vuong, DMD2018, Justin Montenegro DMD2019, and Elodi Healy DMD2020, spent months organizing and publicizing the event–distributing flyers in English and Spanish throughout the local community.
HSDM student volunteers, faculty and staff provided free dental exams, cleanings, sealants, mouth guards, x-rays and educational activities for nearly 40 children. The educational games included a treasure hunt, dental arts and crafts, and face painting.
This year’s activities also stressed the importance of overall health with a wellness check that emphasized the connection between the mouth and the body. Kids were encouraged to try out stethoscopes to listen to a heart beat. Harvard medical students helped conduct the wellness checks, further demonstrating the integration of medicine and dentistry that happens in the classroom and the clinic.
According to Price, reviews from kids and parents were glowing. “Parents left saying, ‘great opportunity!’ and ‘You are doing an amazing job!’”
View photos from Give Kids a Smile 2017.