The Santa Ynez Tribal Health Clinic will provide free dental care for local children during its third annual Give Kids A Smile event on Feb. 2.
Located at the clinic on the reservation (at 90 Via Juana Lane in Santa Ynez), the event provides children, ages 1-12, with exams, cleanings and more. It will last from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This is one of the clinic’s biggest events of the year. The Dental Department will provide dental care for any local child, regardless of income or insurance status. Children will receive a comprehensive oral examination (including X-rays when appropriate), teeth cleaning, oral health education and dietary recommendations. Any treatment that is diagnosed during the exams will be completed at follow-up visits throughout 2023, according to a news release.
The event will be staffed by clinic dentists, registered dental assistants and dental hygienists. During last year’s event, nearly $10,000 of dental services were provided to 27 children at no cost to their families.
“Our dental department looks forward to this event every year because it gives us an opportunity to shine a light on the importance of pediatric oral health and to hopefully make a positive and lasting impact on our young patients,” said Dr. Mike Savidan, dental director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.
“It’s an honor to be able to be able to hold this annual event that has no out-of-pocket cost to our patients,” said Richard Matens, chief health officer for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “Give Kids A Smile gives parents an opportunity to provide their children with dental care that they otherwise might not get each year.”
Give Kids A Smile is a national program launched in 2003 by the American Dental Association, with the goal of providing no-cost care for thousands of children. With February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, each year during the first week of the month, dental offices across the country partner with the ADA and celebrate with their own GKAS event, providing much-needed free dental treatment to underserved children in their local communities.
Registration is required to participate, and openings are limited. If you are interested in your child participating in the Give Kids A Smile event, call the clinic at 805-688-7070.