During the 11th annual Give Kids a Smile Day, held Feb. 8, the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center at Rhode Island Hospital was able to provide dental services to more than 30 local children.
The event takes place at locations around the state, offering dental care to underserved and underinsured children. Itâ€™s held in conjunction with National Childrenâ€™s Dental Health Month and also aims to raise awareness of the importance of dental coverage in childrenâ€™s health plans.
â€śNationwide, tooth decay affects more than 25 percent of children between 2 and 5 years old and 50 percent of children between 12 and 15 years old,â€ť said Shirley Spater Freedman, director of Samuels Sinclair. â€śYet, in Rhode Island, only 1 percent of the Medicaid budget is allocated for dental services. For many children at [this] event, this will be their first visit to the dentist.â€ť
While waiting to receive services such as examinations, cleanings and fillings, children visited with superhero characters, Mr. Potato Head and other guests. â€˘