Every year, the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital participates in "Give Kids a Smile Day" (GKAS). As the centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month, GKAS was designed to provide dental care to low-income children who would not otherwise have access to care, while also highlighting the importance of dental coverage for children's health.
More than 100 underserved, underinsured children throughout Rhode Island receive dental screenings, oral examinations, radiographs, cleanings, fillings and educational materials at the event.
Tooth decay affects more than 25 percent of U.S. children between 2 and 5 years old and 50 percent of U.S. children between 12 and 15 years old, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In Rhode Island, only one percent of the Medicaid budget is allocated for dental services. For many children at the GKAS event, this will be their first visit to the dentist.
Special guests at past events have included Paws, the PawSox mascot, Mr. Potato Head from Hasbro Inc., and many hospital representatives and other volunteers who visit with children while they wait to see their dentist and dental hygienist.
The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center has been providing dental services to underprivileged children and individuals with special needs for 80 years. It is the site that launched the first "Give Kids a Smile" program in Rhode Island.
For more information call Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at 401-444-5284