The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale and Christina’s Smile, a mobile children’s dental clinic, recently teamed in conjunction with the Waste Management Open to provide comprehensive dental care for 120 local youth and Club members. Selected children ages six to 15 from low income families had the opportunity to benefit from this free, three-day dental clinic in early February at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch.
Dental services were provided in a 53-foot mobile dental clinic, which was equipped with the instruments and supplies necessary to perform procedures raging from routine cleanings to sealants, restorations, root canals and extractions on children who might not otherwise have these services available to them. Local dentists and their assistants volunteered their time to assist the founder of Christina’s Smile, Dr. Richard Garza.
Founded in 1990, the mobile clinic is in cooperation with the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, and delivers charitable dental care to children in need in communities that host the tournaments. The stop this month is part of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Each day of the clinic will serve approximately 40 children. Approximately $65,000 to $75,000 worth of dentistry is delivered during the three day clinic.
Garza created the clinic in response to the desperate need for quality dental care in communities around the country.
“There are millions of children in our country that are unable to get the proper dental care they need,” Garza said. “We see children who have never been to the dentist and are possibly in pain or embarrassed about the way their teeth looked. We fix these problems and the kids just can’t help by show off their new smile.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale staff helped coordinate the clinic and worked with local school nurses to identify the kids who would benefit from services provided by Christina’s Smile.
“Christina's Smile gives basic services that most of us take for granted,” said Steve Davidson, President/CEO for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale. “Poor dental care can lead to a lot of health problems and self-esteem issues, so we work closely with school personnel who are aware of the kids’ health and family history. It has been proven that a child’s health directly relates to school performance and attendance.”