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Give Kids a Smile Day Set October 14 in Alton

Article by: Telegraph staff, the Telegraph, news@thetelegraph.com

ALTON — Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine’s 14th annual Give Kids a Smile Day is planned 7:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Oct. 14, at the main clinic in Building 263 at 2800 College Ave., Alton.

Qualified children between the ages of 3-13 eligible for free and reduced-priced meal programs can participate in the program. There is no pre-registration; children will be seen on a first-come, first-served basis with registrations closing at noon.

A parent or guardian must accompany each child. Because the wait and treatment may take several hours, parents are encouraged to bring a healthy snack with them for young children.

SDM first-year dental students will host a variety of “Smile Stations,” featuring activities and games in the gym throughout the event.

Give Kids a Smile Day offers free comprehensive dental care, including examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings, sealants, stainless steel crowns and extractions. All dental services will be provided by SIU SDM faculty, students and staff, and Lewis and Clark Community College dental assisting and dental hygiene faculty and students. Professionals and volunteers from the community also will participate.

“Our annual Columbus Day event provides a wonderful opportunity to provide treatment to hundreds of children,” said Katie Kosten, DMD, assistant professor in the SIU SDM and director of community dentistry.

The national event is sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children. The event is organized to promote community awareness of the need for dental services among the underserved.

Annually, more than 200 children receive care from dental professionals at the SDM. The volunteer dentists and staff offer an annual average of more than $50,000 in preventive, restorative and surgical treatment for the children who participate.

For more information, contact Valerie Donahue at 618-474-7200 or vdonahu@siue.edu.

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