Creighton University and Billy Bluejay Give Kids More Smiles
Creighton University School of Dentistry for the 10th year in a row provided free dental exams, X-rays, cleaning, fluoride, sealants and dental education to more than 100 metro-area underinsured children as part of “Give Kids A Smile Day” on Feb. 6. A special highlight this year was a visit by Creighton’s mascot, Billy Bluejay, who not only provided entertainment but reinforced the importance of dental care.
More than 120 dental students, faculty, staff and other volunteers helped with the event held in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month.
The event was also a community affair, with members of Creighton’s Spanish club assisting with registration and clinic visits. Hygiene students from Iowa Western Community College and outreach workers from One World Community Health Center also assisted. Many other Omaha area organizations helped to promote the event.
“As a University, Creighton instills in its students, faculty and staff the importance of service to others. In these challenging economic times, these uninsured children do not have access to regular dental care and we are hopeful our program can play a small part in getting them to understand how important it is,” said Gary Westerman, D.D.S, professor and Oscar S. Belzer Endowed Chair in the Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry.
Westerman estimated that more than $20,000 of free dental care was given to children ages 3-14. Participants also received “goodie bags” with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and other dental materials.