Since 2003, the ADA Foundation has offered an annual free program at New York City schools called Give Kids A Smile. The program, New York City Dental Society's largest community-focused event, unites dentists, orthodontists, dental staff, and other volunteers to provide screenings and oral health education to students, their parents, and teachers.
Give Kids A Smile is celebrating its 15th year in 2018. In celebration of this milestone, program organizers hope to provide even greater numbers of underserved children with exams, assessments, and hygiene instruction than ever before!
Dr. Whitney Mostafiz, who is hosting the event, has one mission: to make children smile. An award-winning orthodontist in New York City who treats both children and adults, Dr. Whitney is also an active leader in the dental community. She keeps an active and healthy lifestyle that she encourages with her patients: she loves to practice yoga and run, and she even completed the Chicago Marathon in 2013. As a key member of the steering committee for Give Kids A Smile and a native of Long Island, Dr. Whitney was the perfect person to host the anniversary event!
One of the more lofty goals of Give Kids A Smile, beyond providing exams and cleaning, is to set young kids up for success in their oral care routines and habits. The volunteers want to help the students have the knowledge to care for their teeth and mouths, and to feel confident when they go to the dentist.
"It's a new experience for them, so we want it to be positive and fun," says Dr. Mostafiz. "Then when they go to the dentist in a more formal setting, they'll be more comfortable and amenable to the opportunity.