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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

Feb. 3, 2004 -- No. 53

Local children to receive free
dental care from UNC students

Wednesday (Feb. 4), 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
Chapel Hill Daycare, Mi Escuelita Spanish Immersion Preschool, Tiny Tots

Friday (Feb. 6), 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
412 Brauer Hall (Advanced General Dentistry Clinic)
School of Dentistry, UNC campus

Students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillís School of Dentistry will provide dental screenings and fluoride treatments to children at three local day-care centers. The group of about 40 volunteers is made up of mostly second-year dental, dental assisting and hygiene students. Volunteers also visited the Childrenís Campus, the Community School for People Under Six and the Chapel Hill Cooperative Preschool on Feb. 2.

On Friday, children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Durham and Orange Counties Inc. and other children will visit UNCís Advanced General Dentistry Clinic. About 25 dental students and residents will provide free care.

The UNC School of Dentistry initiative is part of the American Dental Associationís "Give Kids A Smile!" national childrenís dental access day, believed to be the largest dental checkup nationwide. North Carolinaís efforts last year, of which UNCís School of Dentistry was a part, were recognized as some of the best. The goal of "Give Kids a Smile!" is to improve the oral health of large numbers of underserved children and also highlight the access-to-care issues for policy-makers.

A 2000 U.S. Surgeon Generalís report, "Oral Health in America," said dental decay is the most common disease affecting U.S. children, occurring at five times the rate of asthma and seven times that of hay fever. Millions of children suffer from untreated, easily preventable oral diseases that affect overall health, including speech, eating patterns and ability to concentrate in school, the American Dental Association has reported.

Volunteers will visit on Wednesday:

Chapel Hill Day Care, 10 a.m., 401 Kildaire Road. Dr. Tony Molina, professor at UNCís School of Dentistry, will supervise.

Mi Escualita, 10 a.m., 405 Smith Level Road.

Tiny Tots, 9 a.m. (screening only).

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News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or