‘Give Kids a Smile!’ clinic emphasizes importance of dental hygiene4 min read

April 3, 2018

‘Give Kids a Smile!’ clinic emphasizes importance of dental hygiene4 min read

The student organizing committee, from left, Claire Cho, Mary Claire Kiernan, Patrick Glisczinski and Richard Klarck pose with one of the dinosaur-themed posters that decorated the kids clinic.

Ann Arbor, Mich., April 3, 2018 -– The second-floor clinics at the School of Dentistry were a busy place Saturday morning as children from ages 4 to 17 arrived from around southeast Michigan for free oral health examinations and treatment by dental students.

Dental students, from left, Heather Baughman, Jayne Kessel and Alisa Dvarishkis team up to treat a young patient.

Parents and guardians brought their children to the school for the annual “Give Kids a Smile!” clinic. It is sponsored by the school in association with the American Dental Association, the Washtenaw District Dental Society and the Michigan Dental Association.

More than 40 children attended the event. Dental and dental hygiene students, under the supervision of faculty, provided a variety of treatments, from basic exams, x-rays and cleanings to restorative work and a few extractions. About 40 dental students provided the care under the supervision of 20 faculty members, graduate program residents and staff; another 75 students assisted along with 15 volunteers who provided translation services and other tasks.

Six-year-old Hala Mjawaz uses a mirror to look at her teeth as students Philip Yoong (right) and Joanne Ly explain her treatment. 

An important part of the day was educating children and their parents about the importance of brushing and flossing teeth in order to avoid cavities and other oral health problems. After students demonstrated the proper way to brush and floss, they often held a hand mirror so the children could practice the techniques before they left the dental chair at the end of the treatment.

The American Dental Association started “Give Kids a Smile!” in 2003 as a way for the dental community to provide free services for underprivileged kids.

The student organizing committee was chaired by Claire Cho (D3) and Richard Klarck (D3) with assistance from Patrick Glisczinski (D2) and Mary Claire Kiernan (D1).

Toothy, the School of Dentistry mascot, poses with students and their sibling patients at the completion of treatment, from left, Gloria Kwon, Reyad and Hala Mjawaz and Philip Yoong.
Dental Hygiene student Said Al-Jazaeri, right, holds a mirror so that Mason Bloom, 10, can practice flossing after receiving instructions on the proper method from dental student Carl Buchanon.
Dental student Kayla Tillman, left, concentrates on a patient with help from dental hygiene students Kristin Peltz, center, and Marissa Dean.


The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at:  Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communications,, or (734) 615-1971.