“Let’s give our message to the world: Healthy mouth – Healthy body,” said Dr. Domenic Caluori, Santa Barbara Eastside Dental Clinic’s dentist, speaking to 100 smiling children and their families at the annual No-Cavities-For-One-Year celebration.
The event was hosted by the Santa Barbara Assistance League in partnership with Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics.
Benny Beaver attended with his giant toothy smile, and the Prime Time Brass Band played rousing music. Food was provided by Assistance Leaguer members. There were raffle prizes including board games, soccer balls, dolls, baseball mitts other new toys, with the top prize of two shiny new bikes for one lucky boy and girl.
Superheroes was the theme for the day, with plastic capes provided for the participants, and masks and capes worn by Assistance League members. But the true power came from the children.
“All of you are superheroes, with no cavities for one year,” proclaimed Dr. Caluori. “You are all cavity-fighters.”
The celebration is held through the Assistance League’s Santa Barbara Smiles philanthropy, headed this year by committee chair Kay Caldeira. Established in 2005, Smiles serves some 1,000 children and 600 adults annually. It provides dental health education for low-income children and adults in Santa Barbara at the Eastside Family Dental Clinic.
Volunteers are trained to discuss good dental hygiene and nutrition with families in half-hour sessions. Assistance League volunteers provide dental hygiene kits at the clinic and at school-based health fairs sponsored by the County Public Health Department.
The Assistance League of Santa Barbara is a nonprofit, volunteer organization that develops and implements programs to benefit residents of Santa Barbara County. The Assistance League Thrift Shop, at 1259 Veronica Springs Road, raises funds to support the group’s philanthropic programs.