Give Kids a Smile Day

Giving Kids a Smile

Each February in honor of Children’s Dental Health Month, students, faculty and staff at VCU Dental Care provide free dental care to children in the Richmond area. This year, more than $42,000 worth of free dental care was provided to 76 patients in the new Pediatric Dentistry Clinic in Children’s Pavilion at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU. 

“We look forward to this event every year,” said Tiffany Williams, D.D.S., interim director of the Pediatric Dental Residency program at VCU School of Dentistry and pediatric dentist at VCU Dental Care. “We did not have an in-person event last year due to COVID and we couldn’t be quite as festive as we had hoped this year, but the passion and purpose remained the same.”

Part of the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile initiative, each year students, faculty and staff from VCU School of Dentistry and VCU Dental Care come together to provide a range of services.

“We performed 95 extractions, placed 21 crowns and addressed numerous cavities with sealants and other processes,” said Carol Caudill, D.D.S., pediatric dentist at VCU Dental Care and assistant professor at VCU School of Dentistry. “Oral health is an important part of overall health for children, and many of these problems likely would have continued to get worse leading to emergency treatments and missed school.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease. Children who have poor oral health miss more school and receive lower grades compared to children who don’t. 

“This year was a huge success despite the limitations placed on us by the pandemic, and I want to thank all of the dental students and residents who volunteered and helped make it possible,” said Richard Herrara, clinical manager of VCU Dental Care’s Pediatric Dentistry Clinic. “This day is truly a team effort and I’m proud of everyone involved.”

If you are interested supporting dental care clinics through the VCU School of Dentistry, contact Cristina Cruz, director of leadership annual giving and stewardship at or 804-828-2931.