Dr. Howard Kelley

MEC Hosts Give Kids a Smile Event

Dr. Howard Kelley
Dr. Howard Kelley from NOVA and Dr. Ashkan Ghaffari greet volunteers.

NOVA’s Medical Education Campus (MEC) hosted Give Kids A Smile on February 8. One hundred sixty-five preschool-aged children, most of whom have never been to the dentist, had the opportunity to have X-rays taken, teeth cleaned, fluoride treatments, cavities filled and tiny teeth sealed against future cavities.

The preschoolers were from eight Head Start Centers within Arlington County Schools. Twenty-eight dentists, six professional hygienists and 12 first-year and 15 second-year dental hygiene students from NOVA volunteered their time to serve and educate children in the importance of taking care of their teeth.

MEC dental hygiene student
A MEC dental hygiene student works with a little patient.

Give Kids A Smile© events, which take place nationwide, are sponsored by the American Dental Society (ADA). This year, the ADA sponsored 1,768 events with 10,008 dentists and 31,536 other dental professionals who saw more than 40,000 children.

According to Give Kids A Smile, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease in 53 percent of all 6 to 8 year olds and is dramatically on the rise for children up to the age of 5. More than 40 percent of all Americans fail to see a dentist every year and this number climbs to 70 percent within underserved populations.

A special thanks to MEC and all of the wonderful volunteers who made this such a successful event.


Dr. Michael King
Dr. Michael King, a volunteer, does what he can to ease the nerves of his patient and get a smile.

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