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Free Dental Care for Children on Give Kids a Smile Day

Give Kids a Smile Day

To help kick-off National Children’s Dental Health Month, Burlington County College’s (BCC) dental hygiene students and instructors, as well as volunteer local health care professionals, will provide free preventive and emergency dental care to children ages 12 and under on “Give Kids a Smile!” day, Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. The one-day program is part of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) annual push to bring attention to the number one childhood disease, tooth decay.

“Give Kids a Smile!” is the largest nationally organized free health care day in America. BCC has consistently performed among the top contributors in the state. Since 2005, BCC’s dental hygiene program has donated $468,912 worth of care to nearly 1,000 patients on “Give Kids a Smile!” day. Children in need receive comprehensive dental exams, oral healthcare instructions, free dental hygiene materials, fluoride treatments, fillings, extractions, and as many dental procedures as can be provided in one visit.

“Last year we were able to help 105 children, who otherwise could not afford to be treated. BCC’s dental hygiene alumni, current students, instructors and volunteer dentists performed a total of 913 procedures,” said Linda Hecker, BCC’s Director of Dental Hygiene. “This event gives us the opportunity to support and serve our community in a very meaningful way.”

Entertainment is also part of the day’s scheduled activities. There are special visits from some well-known characters, including the tooth fairy, face-painting, a caricature artist, and lots of kid-friendly fun.

Those interested in making an appointment for their child are encouraged to call as soon as possible. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 609-894-9311, extension 1074.

The Dental Hygiene center at BCC is located in the Parker Center building, room 318 on the Pemberton campus at 601 Pemberton Browns Mills Road.

About Give Kids a Smile!

More than 5 million children in the nation have received free dental care since Give Kids a Smile! began in 2003. The New Jersey program is managed by the New Jersey Dental Association (NJDA), the New Jersey Dental Assistants Association (NJDAA), and the New Jersey Dental Hygienists' Association (NJDHA). Nationally, it is supported by the American Dental Association (ADA), Henry Schein, Inc. and Colgate. Locally, Delta Dental of New Jersey is a key partner and sponsor. Information on the program can be obtained in both English and Spanish at www.njda.org/gkas.

About the Dental Hygiene program at Burlington County College

The dental hygiene program at BCC is designed to provide learning opportunities through classroom, laboratory and clinical instruction. As an ongoing service to the community, the center, located on the Pemberton campus, provides preventive dental care including cleanings for a nominal fee of $5. For more information, please visit http://staff.bcc.edu/dental/.