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On Friday, April 10, the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center celebrated the 13th annual “Give Kids a Smile Day” (GKAS) with underserved, uninsured and underinsured children throughout Rhode Island. Children received dental care in clinics and private dental offices statewide, and 94 children received dental care at Rhode Island Hospital’s event.
“This is my first opportunity to experience the Give Kids a Smile event here at the dental center and it has been extraordinary to see the outpouring of support and hard work from those who donated their time and talents along with the staff at the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center to make this event happen,” said Elizabeth Benz, DMD, director of the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital. “For many of these children, this special event allows them to visit a dentist for the very first time, and I am so grateful that our volunteers and sponsors make it such a fun and welcoming experience.”
As the centerpiece to National Children’s Dental Health Month, and sponsored by the Rhode Island Dental Association and the American Dental Association, GKAS was designed to provide dental care to low-income children who would not otherwise have access to care. The event also raises awareness of the importance of dental coverage for children’s health.
Children received dental screenings, oral examinations, radiographs, cleanings, fillings and educational materials at Rhode Island Hospital’s Samuels Sinclair Dental Center. The event included visits from Paws, the PawSox mascot, a group of superheroes, pet therapy dogs and the Tooth Fairy. Members of Team Hasbro, Hasbro Inc.’s employee volunteer program, brought toys and games to entertain the children while they waited to see their dentist and dental hygienist, many for the very first time. Dental supplies for the day were donated by national sponsor Henry Schein and Patterson Dental.
Amos House provided breakfast for the event, while Texas Roadhouse supplied lunch. Other refreshments were provided by East Side Marketplace, Stop & Shop and Shaw’s Supermarkets. Hasbro, Inc. also provided a toy for each child to take home.
The Samuels Sinclair Dental Center has been providing dental services to underprivileged children and individuals with special needs for over 80 years. It is the site that launched the first “Give Kids a Smile” program in Rhode Island, and annually organizes statewide events. For more information about Give Kids a Smile Day, contact Debbie Bergh at 401-444-7195, or to contribute to the program, contact the Rhode Island Dental Association at 401-825-7700.