Carolina student-athletes spend lots of time making kids smile, but recently their efforts went toward making sure those smiles are healthy ones. Several Tar Heels volunteered on Feb. 7 as part of the UNC School of Dentistry's "Give Kids a Smile" event.
The UNC event was part of a nation-wide effort that provides free dental services to children. More than 200 dental students, residents, staff and faculty members from the UNC School of Dentistry volunteered their time to serve approximately 100 kids ages 3-5, who received dental exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments. The event was a team effort, with the UNC School of Medicine, UNC School of Nursing and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health participating in the accompanying health fair.
The event held special significance for Tar Heel two student-athletes who plan to work in the dental field. Kaitlyn Anderson, a senior on the volleyball team, will enroll at the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine after graduating from UNC in May. "It was an honor to be able to volunteer at the Give Kids a Smile Day," Anderson said. "This is a nationwide event that provides dental care to thousands of children who might not receive it otherwise. The oral health of children is extremely important for many reasons and I am glad I was able to be a part of such a special day. I hope that one day I will be able to participate in this event as a practicing dentist and use my skills as a dentist to provide healthier smiles to youth in the community."
Cameron Campbell, a junior on the football team, serves as president of UNC's USNDA (Undergraduate Student National Dental Association). "I enjoyed volunteering for Give Kids A Smile Day," he said. "It enabled me to reminisce on the joys of being a kid and allowed me to appreciate everything my parents have given me thus far. Furthermore, it revealed to me that if you attack personal and oral hygiene at a young age, you can change a child's life for the better."