Dental school brings smiles to kids

BY Alani Letang



Members of the UDM Dental School community pride themselves on community outreach, and the oral health care of all Detroit residents.

According to the school’s website, “Service to community is so much more than the activity itself.”

UDM Dental School has a plethora of free dental care events throughout the year.

If a child is in need of dental care, UDM has it covered.

“Give Kids a Smile” started grinning in 2003. It is a national event that invites participation from all dental practices that want to open their doors for free child dental care.

This is an annual event, where UDM dental students, staff and alumni volunteer service to over 100 kids in the metro Detroit area. Some of the services included are cleanings, sealants, extractions, endo/root canal and fillings.

This year’s “Give Kids a Smile” event will take place Feb. 7, and will kick off “Oral Health Month for Kids.”

UDM Dental School is also no stranger to health fairs and men.

October through November marks the free Men’s Health Event at Ford Field.

During these months men can check up on their health by visiting various booths. This event sees about 4,000 males, with UDM looking at about 400 men.

At the UDM booth, students examined men for oral cancers by doing an examination for lesions in the mouth.

These are two of many such events hosted by the school.

A majority of the outreach events are steered by UDM’s own dental school students.

“Dental students and hygienists are the ones who initiate the programs,” said Laura Wright, community outreach coordinator.

And masterminds they are.

Students have come up with multiple ways to keep Detroit orally healthy.

One example: mouth guards.

The school has produced mouth guards for a downtown youth boxing club and a basketball team at University Prep School.

UDM dental students are proud to apart of a nurturing school.

Ayomide Ogunye, an incoming UDM Dental School student, applauds the efforts.

“I really appreciate the time that our dental students take out of their busy schedules to volunteer free dental care to residents,” he said.

Ogunye specifically enjoyed an event with the Detroit Lions for pediatric dental care.

“These athletes are like heroes to the children, and a role model for oral health,” said Ogunye.