Newswise — EDISON, NJ – In observance of National Children’s Health Dental Health Month, and to mark Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) Day, the dentistry teams at Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian JFK University Medical Center provided free dental care for children ages 12 and younger. Treatment was provided as part of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) annual February push to bring attention to the number one childhood disease - tooth decay.

“Giving back to the community is so important,” said James A. Ruggiero, DMD.  “This program, more than a decade old, will touch the lives of so many of New Jersey’s children who need oral healthcare instruction. We are proud to be a part of it.”

At JFK University Medical Center, Dr. Steven Hobson and his team provided “out of this world” care in the clinic where space decorations were hung to celebrate the theme -  Smiles so bright, you can see them from outer space! 

Children who came to JFK University Medical Center and The Center for Dentistry at Hackensack University Medical Center received:

  • a comprehensive dental exam
  • oral healthcare instruction
  • fluoride treatments 
  • free dental hygiene goodies

Last February, in New Jersey alone, more than 2,000 children visited nearly 100 sites across the state, including Hackensack Meridian Health dental clinics.. Each year approximately 6,500 dentists and 30,000 dental team members volunteer at local GKAS events to provide free oral health education, screenings, preventive and restorative treatment.