Group of volunteers wearing TeamSmile shirts.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Student Recreation Center was bustling with volunteers, sponsors and program staff who came together on February 5 for the city’s second TeamSmile event.

UAB School of Dentistry’s pediatric dentistry team joined former UAB football players for a program that capitalizes on the excitement and allure of high-profile sports to provide a life-changing dental experience to children in need. Held in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month, the event promoted the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers.

“Oral hygiene is one of the fundamental skills we can teach our children,” said Kyounga Cheon, DMD, MS, acting director of the Finn pediatric dentistry clinic and event liaison.

All told, nearly 150 needy children from Birmingham schools were provided basic dental treatment and learned the value of a lifelong commitment to dental health through a brief educational program. The youth who participate in TeamSmile events are at high risk for dental disease, yet they have limited access to care.

Cheon added, “We were pleased to participate this year and to have the opportunity to share our expertise. Our faculty, residents and students had a rewarding time serving our community.”

The program is sponsored by Delta Dental Community Care Foundation, Sarrell Dental and Eye Center and is led by the TeamSmile organization.