Southern Illinois University’s School of Dental Medicine is urging parents of qualified children between the ages of 3 and 13 to attend this year’s Give Kids A Smile Day from 7:30 a.m. to noon, Monday, October 8, at the School of Dental Medicine Main Clinic, Building 263, 2800 College Ave.

Free dental care, including examinations, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, fillings and extractions, will be provided by SIU School of Dental Medicine faculty and students, members of the Madison District Dental Society and the St. Clair District Dental Society, and Lewis and Clark Community College dental assisting and dental hygiene faculty and students. Professionals and volunteers from the community will also participate.

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Children qualified to participate in the event are those eligible for free and reduced-priced meal programs.

“Every measure is being taken to ensure that information about our event is available to all area families and all children who register between 7.30 AM and 12.00 noon on October 8th receive treatment.” said Dr. Poonam Jain, professor in the SIU School of Dental Medicine and director of Community Dentistry. “Each child must be accompanied by a parent or guardian in order to be treated.”

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Give Kids a Smile Day is a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association to provide free dental treatment for underserved children. The event is organized to promote community awareness of the need for dental services among the underserved. In Alton, the one-day event allows an average of over 200 children to receive dental care from dental professionals each year. The volunteer dentists and staff offer an annual average of more than $50,000 in preventive, restorative and surgical treatment for the children who participate.

Fun activities for children will take place throughout the event. First-year dental students from SIU School of Dental Medicine will host a “Smile Station” featuring fun and educational activities and games to help children learn the importance of a good diet, oral hygiene and the connections between their mouths and bodies. The Tooth Fairy is expected to make a rare public appearance!

For more information, contact Sherie Gottlob from the School of Dental Medicine, (618) 474-7200, or While pre-registration is preferred, it is not required as walk-ins are welcome.

Avid supporters of the event, State Rep. Dan Beiser, D-East Alton, State Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, will be in attendance.

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