Give Kids a Smile Day is March 3

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Give Kids a Smile Day 2017 Image

11th annual Give Kids a Smile Day (2017)

Dental Hygiene Professor Julie Stage-Rosenberg is an enthusiastic advocate for encouraging kids to smile all the way from inside to outside.

“Oral health is a very important part of total health, so if we start early by establishing healthy habits in young children, it will have a positive impact on them throughout their lives,” she said.

The 12th annual Give Kids a Smile (GKaS)® Day at Truckee Meadows Community College is taking place on March 3.

  • When: Saturday, March 3, 8 a.m.–Noon.
  • Where: TMCC Dental Hygiene Clinic, Dandini Campus, 7000 Dandini Blvd.
  • Appointments: Please call 775-673-8279 for an appointment

Free dental services are offered by appointment for children between the ages of six–12. Not all appointment times are filled by children of TMCC students and staff members, so the faculty have opened up the event to children in the community who need oral health care.

“We try to make this a fun experience for the kids so they have a great attitude about receiving dental care,” Stage-Rosenberg said. “The students and the kids have fun. The children leave with shiny smiles, a goodie bag of oral health care products, and a little prize.”

The event takes place on a Saturday in order to provide greater accessibility for parents who work regular weekday hours.

Volunteers and Services

Volunteer student dental assistants and hygienists, TMCC faculty, and dentists offer children’s dental screenings and care at GKaS Day.

Free dental health services include the following:

  • Dental exams
  • Check-up X-rays
  • Dental cleanings
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Dental sealants
  • Referrals, if needed

David Lund, DDS, and Donna J. Hellwinkel, DDS, will be conducting the dental exams for the event. Dr. Lund and Dr. Hellwinkel also teach at TMCC as part-time instructors.

Second-year Dental Hygiene Program students will be providing care at GKaS Day, along with first-year dental hygiene majors helping with paperwork and sterilization support. Dental X-rays and chairside assistance for the dentists and hygienists will be provided by a team of dental assisting students.

The hygienists are in their final semester of a four-semester program, and they are supervised by the dentists and TMCC faculty.

National Connections

TMCC’s GKaS Day coordinator, Stage-Rosenberg, tallies up all statistics at the end of the event and reports them to the TMCC community, as well as to the ADA’s national GKaS campaign.

The College is a local participant in the national GKaS Day events that happen each year in celebration of National Children’s Dental Health month in February.

The American Dental Association launched the ADA Foundation's Give Kids A Smile program in 2003, and it supports local GKaS events in 50 states. The Northern Nevada New Dentist Committee is also holding an event in Reno.

In addition, National Dental Assistant Recognition Week (DARW) is March 4–10, according to the American Dental Assistants Association.

The Lee R. Del Grande Community Service Grant

TMCC’s GKaS Day is funded through its volunteers and the Lee R. Del Grande Community Service Grant. This grant supplements other supplies provided by the American Dental Association (ADA).

The Lee R. Del Grande Community Service Grant helps to pay for X-ray film, disposable dental supplies, fluoride varnish and sealant material. Stage-Rosenberg estimates that children participating in the event receive an average ranging from $60–$180 of dental services.

“Due to Lee R. Del Grande’s generosity and my careful spending, the three-year grant has lasted five years,” Stage-Rosenberg added.

For more information about the event, contact Julie Stage-Rosenberg at 775-673-8279. For information about TMCC’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs, please call 775-673-8247.