The Penn Pre-Dental Society is hosting a “Give Kids a Smile” event for elementary school students in honor of National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The volunteering event will educate students at The City School at Spruce Hill on the importance of oral hygiene and dental healthcare. The event is typically held annually in February for National Children’s Dental Health Month by the American Dental Society and over 1,500 other organizations including the Penn Pre-Dental Society.
This year, Penn Pre-Dental Society will serve the largest number of students in the event's history, with over 120 students from kindergarten to grade five — an increase from previous group sizes of 30 students, according to Michael Troka, President of Penn Pre-Dental Society.
20 volunteers from the Penn Pre-Dental Society will conduct a series of presentations and demonstrations to help the students learn essential brushing and flossing techniques, as well as the importance of maintaining a well-balanced diet.
The Penn Pre-Dental Society also secured 144 sets of pediatric toothpaste, dental floss and patient bags for each of the students through a sponsorship from Patterson Dental, North America's largest provider of dental products and solutions. Penn Dental Medicine (PDM) also donated a matching quantity of their PDM pens, according to Troka.
“Being able to serve our West Philadelphia community is an important part of the Pre-Dental Society’s mission,” Troka said. “It’s through service-learning, our members help the community grow in their knowledge of oral health while improving our own ability to be effective, engaging, and enthusiastic communicators of medicine and science, [which are all] important skills for future doctors.”
The Penn Pre-Dental Society aims to provide a community for undergraduate Penn students who are interested in attending dental school, in addition to sponsoring fundraising and volunteer opportunities. Troka added that the club is currently organizing its next project — a fundraiser for Operation Smile, a global non-profit that provides cleft lip and palate repair surgeries to children in need.