NEWARK, N.J.—Hundreds of children ages 12 and under across New Jersey received free oral screenings, education, preventive care and, in some cases, treatment on February 1 at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) sites participating in Give Kids A Smile!® National Dental Access Day.
Give Kids A Smile!® (GKAS) is a national initiative held each February by the American Dental Association to focus attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children. GKAS provides free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children across the country who, for a variety of reasons, may not have regular access to such services. The event is an annual centerpiece to National Children’s Dental Health Month.
This year, the University’s participating sites were UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, one of the nation’s largest sites; the University Dental Center at Galloway; the University Dental Center at Somerdale Square in Somerdale; the University John H. Cronin Dental Center in Northfield; and the School of Health Related Professions’ Department of Allied Dental Education in Scotch Plains. They saw over 400 children, and this year, for the third year, an orthodontic screening component was offered.
UMDNJ’s students, faculty and staff have volunteered for GKAS each year since the initiative’s inception in 2003. Working with public elementary schools, charter schools, and Head Start providers, UMDNJ has provided free dental services to more than 7,300 children over the past 11 years.
Images are available for download.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is New Jersey’s only health sciences university with more than 6,000 students on five campuses attending three of the state's medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and New Jersey’s only school of public health. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, which provides a continuum of healthcare services with multiple locations throughout the state.