Sea of Smiles event offers free dental procedures to island keiki, April 1
Island keiki under the age of 18 can receive free x-rays, dental exams, teeth cleaning, fillings and other dental services during the first “Sea of Smiles” Dental Day at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College campus from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.
The event, spearheaded by local dental hygienist Kellyn Kirkbride and the UHMC Dental Hygiene Department, is open to all children, with no dental insurance needed. A group of Maui dentists, hygienists and dental hygiene students have volunteered their time for the event.
“We had so much success at our last Sea of Smiles event and we are ready to do it again,” said Kirkbride, who also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the college’s dental hygiene program. “There’s a huge gap in access to dental care on Maui for children and our event December of ’21
showed us how big the need is.”
Kirkbrides’s goal is to “help Maui children and their parents find a dental home and help gain access to state insurance if needed.”
Rosie Vierra, the UHMC Dental Hygiene program director who also serves on the Maui Oral Health Task Force, said her passion for helping underserved community members made this event a natural fit with the college’s program. Vierra contacted the Hawaiʻi Dental Service Foundation, which provided a grant to cover supplies needed for the event.
Finding volunteer dentists and hygienists was easy, said Kirkbride. “We have a really amazing dental community who were immediately willing to spend their Saturday helping people.”
With 18 state-of-the-art dental suites available, the event’s goal is to provide care to as many children as possible! Sea of Smiles will be held on the UH Maui College campus, 310 W. Ka’ahumanu Ave., Kahului.
Those who wish to attend are encouraged to pre-register for an appointment. For more information, contact Kellyn Kirkbride at [email protected]