Kids Receive Free Dental Screenings at Mission Sunday Streets

Children received lessons on proper dental care after getting free oral exams and fluoride treatments at the Mission Sunday Streets event on July 28.

UCSF School of Dentistry students hit the Sunday Streets event in the city’s Mission District last weekend to offer free oral exams to children.

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Eleven dentistry students from the UCSF chapters of the Student Society of Pediatric Dentistry and the Hispanic Student Dental Association, supported by two faculty members, set up a booth at the July 28 street fair to perform the screenings. A total of 52 children received free exams and fluoride varnishes, got lessons on proper dental care and left with goody bags filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss.

Organizers say eight cavities were found during the event.

Tooth decay is five times as common in children as asthma, and early detection is key to preventing it. By age 17, more than 7 percent of children have lost a permanent tooth to decay.

Sunday’s dental screenings are part of a series of free health screening events held throughout the year by UCSF. In June, dermatology residents held their annual skin cancer screenings event at the Castro Mission Health Center.

Photos by Victoria Collins

Third-year UCSF dental student Zarah Ahmed, dressed in a tooth costume, applies a fluoride treatment to a little boy.


Third-year UCSF dental student Vanessa Antolinez, far right, high-fives a young patient during a dental care lesson with dental student Zarah Ahmed.


Third-year UCSF dental student Maximillion Jensen exams a little girl's teeth during Mission Sunday Streets.