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                          News Applause


Focus on Healthy Smiles

By Cindy Abole
Public Relations

MUSC and area dentists did their part to keep some Lowcountry school-aged children smiling as part of the annual Give Kids A Smile Day Feb. 3.

More than 130 children received free dental services as part of the day at the James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine. The event, sponsored by the South Carolina Dental Association and the American Dental Association (ADA), provided boys and girls with free oral health care services.

MUSC dentists, dental team members, faculty, staff and students provided dental exams, X-rays, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, restorative treatments (includes fillings and crowns), extractions and dental education.

Dental hygienist Tricia Schell, left, explains to Kathy Zemp, a nurse at Jane Edwards Elementary School, the result of fourth grade student Cameron Reynolds' teeth cleaning as part of Give Kids A Smile Day. To see the video, visit

Each February, the dental school partners with community practitioners and students to provide these services as part of National Children's Dental Health Month. Participants are usually between 3 and 16 years of age.
This year's event director, Katherine Renne, DMD, assistant professor in the college's Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, was excited that MUSC would again provide this service to the community.

"It's a great program that garners lots of support from the schools, teachers, parents and the dental community. It provides a desperately needed service to children who otherwise would not have this opportunity for excellent dental care."

Dental student Jennifer Fiorica demonstrates the correct way to brush teeth with James Simons Elementary student Amariay Waring.

Each year, an estimated 16 million American children suffer from untreated tooth decay or cavities that can affect a child's sleep and had poor performance in school, according to ADA. More than 80 percent of tooth decay can be found in 25 percent of children, many of whom are from low-income, underserved communities. Many children enrolled in Medicaid receive no type of dental services throughout the year.

Last year, more than 44,800 dentists and dental team members across the country participated in national Give Kids A Smile activities in their communities.

Dental Medicine student Ginny Fadeley paints a cat on the cheek of Minnie Hughes Elementary student Haylen Reynolds. Face painting by the dental students was a treat given after their dental visit.

Kathy Zemp, R.N., accompanied a busload of children from Jane Edwards and Minnie Hughes Elementary schools, which are located on the outskirts of Charleston County.

"This is a wonderful service to be offered to these children. Some of these children would never have afforded to be seen by a dentist or dental professional if not for the generosity of this program."



Friday, Feb. 17, 2012

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.