Several hundred Milwaukee-area children, ages 3 – 16, from low-income families will receive an estimated $50,000 in free dental exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments and emergency treatment on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Marquette University School of Dentistry, 1801 W. Wisconsin Ave.
More than 200 volunteer dental professionals, dental and hygiene students and faculty will provide the care, along with oral hygiene instruction for parents and caregivers.
All children are welcome and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Care is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Many of the children who will be seen on this day are enrolled in Milwaukee Public Schools Head Start Program or one of several other area Head Start programs. Head Start is a federally-funded program that provides comprehensive early childhood education to low-income children and involves their parents in the child development process.
This event is organized by representatives of the Greater Milwaukee Dental Association and MUSOD with assistance from Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Public Schools Head Start, Acelero Head Start, Next Door Foundation Head Start, Centro Hispano Guadalupe Head Start and Milwaukee Area Health Education.
Dental supplies are being provided by Colgate, GMDA and Henry Schein Dental. GMDA will also provide breakfast and morning refreshments for volunteers.
This year’s fall dental day has been expanded to include older children normally seen as part of Give Kids A Smile which is traditionally held in February as part of National Children’s Dental Health Month.
“We have had increased turnout over the years for our fall Head Start event, but have encountered decreasing numbers of children for GKAS in the winter. By moving GKAS to the fall with our Head Start outreach, we hope good weather and the transportation provided for Head Start families will help more children of all ages get the important dental care they need,” GMDA President Dr. Cheska Avery-Stafford said.
“This charitable outreach also helps Head Start youngsters comply with the preschool program’s annual dental exam requirement, while giving dental and dental hygiene students valuable clinical experience,” Avery-Stafford added.