Group photo of dental hygiene students, DA Ryan, and children taking part in Give Kids A Smile
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan poses with Regis dental hygiene students and patients at Give-Kids-A-Smile

Students in the university’s dental hygiene program provided free dental hygiene services to children in the community, including students in the Framingham public school system. Patients received dental exams, x-rays, cleanings, fluoride treatments, and sealants at the Regis College Dental Center in Waltham.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan attended the event in support of her oral health initiative launched this spring in partnership with Regis College to improve outcomes for youth. Research shows that students don’t perform their best at school if they are suffering from a cavity, gum disease, or other dental problems due to lack of appropriate dental care. As part of the partnership, dental students create lesson plans to bring dental health and wellness into the school curriculum to teach students to brush, floss and eat healthy.

“This day offers a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain valuable experience providing care to pediatric and adolescent patients. An event such as this also serves the mission of our university to help the community,” said Regis College Dental Hygiene Program Director Karen D. Hallisey-Pesa. “We are grateful to the Metropolitan District Dental Society for supporting our efforts and to District Attorney Ryan for attending.”

“Our job is to keep kids safe and to give them the resources to build resiliency, stay healthy and be present at school. We know that students can’t be at their best if they are suffering from a cavity, gum disease or other dental problems because of the lack of appropriate dental care. When a child has dental issues which cause them not to eat well, sleep well or be in pain during the day, they are going to have difficulties learning and behaving appropriately. What is worse is that these preventable problems can lead to truancy and juvenile delinquency. Interventions that address these problems are best begun during the elementary school years,” said District Attorney Marian Ryan.

Due to a generous donation from the Metropolitan District of the Massachusetts Dental Society, more than 60 children from the community received free dental hygiene care at the Give-Kids-A-Smile event.

Give-Kids-A-Smile is the American Dental Association’s signature event to promote access to oral health care for underserved children. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program. Since its inception, more than seven million children have been cared for by more than half a million volunteers.

The Regis Dental Center is a dental hygiene educational facility providing affordable dental care services to Waltham and the surrounding community. Services such as dental cleanings and exams, teeth whitening, x-ray services, periodontal assessments and oral cancer screenings are provided by Regis dental hygiene students under direct supervision of faculty. The fully equipped center features 20 dental treatment areas, a full complement of x-ray technology and a laboratory space. The center is open for the academic year and accepting new patients.