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An Event to Smile About for Cavity-Free Kids

As the National Children’s Dental Health Month comes to a close, Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics (SBNC) and the Assistance League of Santa Barbara celebrate the cavity-free children who are patients at its dental clinics.

SBNC will host the children and their families for an afternoon of fun and recognition at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Assistance League Headquarters, 1259 Veronica Springs Road.

More than 50 children attended last year’s event and more than 100 are expected this year.

“We established this event to celebrate the success of the children and their parents in achieving good oral health," said Dr. Domenic Caluori, chief dental officer of Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.

"Many of these children come to the clinic with cavities but six months later we have treated them and the kids have kept their teeth clean and free of disease," Dr. Caluori said. "This is something to be proud of and needs to be recognized.”

The Cavity Free Club was established in 2012 as an incentive for kids and their parents to practice good oral health.

Children patients at the Eastside Family Dental Clinic or the Goleta Neighborhood Dental Clinic who do not have any cavities or were able to remain cavity free for six months are eligible club members.

Their pictures are posted on the cavity-free board in the reception area of each clinic.

The annual event is held to celebrate the success of the families by presenting each child with a certificate of achievement and congratulations for being an excellent “Cavity Fighter.” Kids are entered into drawings on the day of the event to win prizes.

“The Smiles Program of the Santa Barbara Assistance League plays a crucial role in this day," Dr. Caluori said.

"They have a program with volunteer educators who come to our dental clinics in the afternoon and educate the children on proper oral health habits such as brushing and flossing," Dr. Caluori said.

"This is also where the children and parents learn about the negative effects of sugar in our diet and how to make smart dietary choices,” Dr. Caluori said.

SBNC is an independent, nonprofit, Federally Qualified Health Center dedicated to providing provide high-quality, comprehensive, affordable healthcare to all people, regardless of their ability to pay.

SBNC is comprised of two dental clinics, four medical clinics, and offers behavioral health services that serve some 21,000 people in the community.

— Angelina Macias for Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.


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