UIC College of Dentistry Helps “Give Kids a Smile”

The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry held two Give Kids a Smile Days recently.

Fifty youngsters from Children of Peace School and 50 from St. Malachy School came to the College on Feb. 4 and received oral health education and screenings at the Department of Pediatric Dentistry’s Delta Dental of Illinois Predoctoral Pediatric Dentistry Clinic and its Dale C. Nickelsen and Caren C. Nickelsen Pediatric Dentistry Postgraduate Clinic.

Dr. Sahar Alrayyes, Clinical Associate Professor, Pediatric Dentistry, and Dr. Larry Salzmann, Clinical Professor and Predoctoral Program Clinic Director, were in charge of a team of predoctoral students who provided care. The day also featured face painting and a visit from Sparky D. Dragon, the UIC mascot.

“Some of the Children of Peace students were deaf or hard of hearing,” explained Khatijia Noorullah, Clinical Community Academic Manager. “This added breadth to our students’ experience as they worked with sign language experts with the youngsters.”

On Feb. 11, a team of predoctoral students led by Dr. Robert Rada, Clinical Professor, Oral Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, and Dr. Alrayyes and Dr. Salzmann, visited the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education-Roosevelt at 1950 W. Roosevelt Road to provide oral health education, screenings, and cleanings for the institute’s client roster of children and young adults.

“Youngsters who needed additional oral healthcare were referred to the College,” Noorullah explained.

The Chicago Dental Society Foundation’s Grants Committee gave the College $5,000 provided by the Wrigley Co. Foundation through its Oral Care Community Service Grant Program for the ICRE-R event.

Wrigley works with the CDS Foundation and other dental professional organizations by providing funding for those organizations to give out grants for those interested in community service.