DOVER, Del. - One annual event is helping put a smile on the faces of Delaware children. Give kids a smile has served thousands over the years. Officials say it's a way to help the underserved kids of The First State get the dental care they need.
Making a difference for some 250 children in The First State Saturday. Give Kids a Smile, now in its 15th year, has helped over 2,000 underserved children.
"A lot of the children we're seeing today have very many cavities in their mouths, some have never been seen by a dentist before," says Rachel Maher, president of the Delaware State Dental Society, or DSDS. "I saw a teenager that today was his first dental visit ever."
The clinic, put on by DSDS, is not just to check on the pearly whites, but to educate children on just how important it is to keep up with your dental health.
"We have many education stations here to teach them how to prevent developing dental disease and also very important to refer them to continue dentistry when they leave," says event organizer Dr. Douglas Ditty.
"As much of this is to educate the children on the importance of dental care, it's also to educate the parents as far as to break that chain of a lack of dental care in their lifetime, because the link between good dental health and overall health has been established," said Dr. Sean Mercer, with the DSDS legislative council.
The clinic also helps these kids find a practice so they can receive the regular care they need.
The Delaware State Dental Society works to develop and support services for the underserved. You can learn more at delawarestatedentalsociety.org.