The UNC Adams School of Dentistry set out to put a smile on kids' faces last Friday — with the help of the tooth fairy herself.
On Feb. 5, the dental school provided free care to local children at its annual Give Kids a Smile event.
Give Kids a Smile is a national student-run event that occurs on the first Friday of February to celebrate National Children's Dental Health month, said Dr. Jessica Lee, the pediatric and public health chairperson at UNC.
Lee said she hopes the event will draw awareness to dental health as an emerging public health issue and a largely unmet need.
Tiara Portillo, a parent who brought her two children to Friday's event, said it has been challenging to get her children to a dentist during the pandemic, but the event made it convenient for her to do so.
She hopes her children will take dental care seriously after attending the event.
Although GKAS usually invites all children in need of care, it was modified to fit COVID-19 guidelines this year. Only children of essential frontline workers were seen, Lee said.
"They kept us safe during this pandemic," Lee said. "This is our way of thanking them."
Student facilitator Hannah Smith said she hopes their services will draw children and parents back to seek care at the school in the future.