On behalf of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the LSU School of Dentistry, I would like to thank The Advocate’s New Orleans bureau for covering this year’s Give Kids a Smile Day.

The terrific story Kari Dequine Harden and John McCusker reported raised awareness about the relationship between childhood obesity and dental cavities, something that can help us to better address both.

Approximately 100 children from Phoenix High School in Plaquemines Parish and Lake Pontchartrain School in St. John the Baptist Parish visited the School of Dentistry to learn about Healthy Smiles, Healthy Lifestyles.

Besides a dental screening performed by LSUHSC dental and dental hygiene students, residents and faculty, along with dentists from the New Orleans Dental Association, the kids learned how to brush and floss from the Tooth Fairy and Ms. Molar and participated in interactive games and activities.

The highlight of the day was the visit from New Orleans Saints staff and players.

Cameron Jordan and Akiem Hicks led football drills and NFL Play 60 activities to encourage physical activity and fitness and then came inside to help with everything else. They stayed far longer than planned and really went all-out to make this a day that will bring a smile to these children for many years to come. Thank you for promoting this great event!

Janice Townsend, DDS, MS, interim chairwoman

Department of Pediatric Dentistry

LSU School of Dentistry

New Orleans