Photo by Nick Young, Collin College Photographer

In an effort to provide dental care to economically disadvantaged children, Collin College hosted Give Kids A Smile Day from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m., Saturday April 8 at the Collin College Dental Hygiene Clinic. More than 75 registered children received free cleanings as well as orthodontic and dental exams. The college’s dental hygiene students and graduates partnered with North Texas Dental Society dentists for this annual event.

For the first time, the program joined with the McKinney Fire Department to give kids a treat after their treatment. Firefighters and cadets in the Collin College Fire Academy gave tours of a mobile “fire safety house.”

According to Christine McClellan, director of Collin College’s Dental Hygiene program, participants received oral hygiene instruction along with many other services.

“Our students and graduates took health histories, blood pressures and dental x-rays and performed cleanings. Children also received free orthodontic and dental exams,” she said.

Dr. Henry Liao, past president of the North Texas Dental Society and liaison for Give Kids A Smile Day, added, “Access for care is very important. That has been the main issue from the American Dental Association standpoint. Give Kids A Smile Day provides care for children who have fallen through the gap. We have general dentists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists and endodontists who provide additional care for nominal fees from their offices.”

Collin College serves more than 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degrees and certificates. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. In addition, the college operates the Collin Higher Education Center, which serves 3,100 additional students each year in partnership with The University of Texas at Dallas, Texas Woman’s University, Texas A&M Commerce, Texas Tech and the University of North Texas.