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Halifax Community College Dental Hygiene faculty, staff and students, along with area dental professionals participated in National Children's Dental Access Day—Give Kids A Smile® on Feb. 1 in celebration of National Children's Dental Health Month. This marked the fourth year that the HCC Dental Hygiene Program has participated in Give Kids A Smile.

The North Carolina Dental Society along with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Section set aside the first Friday in February each year to provide free dental care to the state's children. The program is a national initiative by the American Dental Association that focuses on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among children.

The HCC clinic was able to provide free oral care to 15 area children from Scotland Neck Primary, grades K-2. Dr. Bill Blaylock was on hand to provide dental care, while second-year Dental Hygiene students, with the assistance of the first-year students, provided preventive care in the form of x-rays, exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments. Elementary school personnel on hand were Barbara Smith and Marisa Powell.

According the American Dental Association Web site, the Give Kids A Smile name was first used by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society when a group of dentists treated nearly 400 children over a two-day span in February 2002. Since then, the program has grown. In 2008, more than 50,000 dental professionals and volunteers provided free educational, preventive and restorative dental services to children from low income families at more than 2,000 locations across the country.