UCSF Students Offer Free Dental Screenings at Community Festivals

Volunteer Mora Braggs dons a tooth costume to help promote the UCSF free dental screening at the San Francisco's Cesar Chavez Festival on April 12.

As families took to the streets to enjoy community festivals, many also got the opportunity to be proactive about their health, thanks to a volunteer effort by UC San Francisco faculty and students.

More than 120 people participated in free dental screenings at the Cesar Chavez Festival in the Mission District on April 12 and the Bayview Sunday Streets event on May 4.

Mila Gualip-Kelley learns proper teeth-brushing technique on a stuffed dinosaur at the Cesar Chavez Festival.

Early detection is key to diagnosing potential tooth decay, which remains one of the most common diseases. By age 17, more than 7 percent of children have lost a permanent tooth to decay.

At the two festivals, dozens of people – mostly children – received fluoride varnishes to prevent cavities. Dental school residents also provided free oral health education and made referrals to the UCSF Dental Center for cases that needed follow-up.

A total of 53 people were recommended for follow-up with a dentist at the Dental Center, and 10 were found to have serious dental problems.

UCSF offers community health events throughout the year and around the city. Check the UCSF Community and Government Relations page for information about future events.

Photos by Barbara Bagot-Lopez and Michele Davis


San Francisco Supervisor David Campos stops by the Cesar Chavez Festival screening to support UCSF's dental student volunteers. From left: Campos, Ligia Padilla, Purnima Sheoran, Manpreet Mangat, Jose-Julio Hernandez-Blouin, Benjamin Chaffee, DDS, MPH, PhD, and UCSF Community Relations Assistant Director Michele Davis.

During the Cesar Chavez Festival, Karin Ramos (left) and her little sister Sophia get a lesson on teeth brushing by Daniel Ramos, DDS, PhD, a professor in the UCSF School of Dentistry. The dentist is not related to the children.

Kamia Watts receives a dental screening during the Bayview Sunday Streets on May 4.

San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen (in pink) visits the Bayview Sunday Streets dental screening to support UCSF faculty and students. From left to right: Jolie Goodman, Chelsea Wong, Cohen, Jeffrey Proniloff, Dien Sun, Julia Ma, Will Liou, DDS, and Michael Hong.