Local dentists and a hygienist inspected and educated 62 children during the free Give Kids A Smile event Feb. 2 at the Huron County Administration Building, 180 Milan Ave., Norwalk.
The Give Kids A Smile name was first used by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and a group of dentists who set up a temporary full-service clinic that treated nearly 400 children during a two-day period in February 2002.
Since then, the program has grown enormously, with more than 500,000 children being treated last year by 27,000 dental team volunteers and 12,000 dentists at about 2,000 locations across the nation.
In Ohio alone, dentists combined to donate more than $1 million in services and procedures for the 2006 event.
Dr. Joseph Kim helped organize the local effort, this year enlisting the services of five other dentists Drs. Aaron Carmean, Chris Ebert, Donald Gustovich, David Hiedelberg and Roger Stine and hygienist Ruth Earl.
"Everything ran very smoothly" said Kim, who credited the cooperation of Huron County General Health District employees as a reason for success.
The number of participants for the free dental screenings was down slightly from last year.
"I think the weather kind of scared some parents away," said Kim, who noted the amount of children treated has been increasing steadily since the event came to Norwalk five years ago.
Give Kids A Smile, which is designed to provide education, preventative and restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to care, is an annual centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM).