HOLLAND – February 6 is the 13th annual American Dental Association’s “Give Kids a Smile!” day. Dr. Robert Ankerman D.D.S. will be the dentist on the Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s Miles of Smiles (MOS) mobile dental unit. This Friday, he will provide comprehensive dental care for Medicaid-insured and financially- qualifying uninsured children at Jefferson Elementary School in Holland (Holland Public School District). Every child in the school will receive a gift bag, complete with oral health aids and oral health education for parents.
Miles of Smiles operates year-round to provide free dental services. “Give Kids a Smile!” day provides MOS an opportunity to participate in a nationwide event. Dental professionals in dental offices, clinics and schools in all 50 states will open their doors to provide free dental care to dentally-underserved children. The event raises awareness about the number of children with unmet dental needs and the obstacles they face when seeking dental care.
Pain from untreated dental disease makes it difficult for children to eat, sleep and concentrate in school. Poor oral health also affects their self-esteem. The partnership includes dental society involvement, dentist and hygienist volunteerism, school administration dedication, community support, funder’s generosity, Ottawa County Administration support and Ottawa County Department of Public Health’s commitment to help improve the health of children.