Jaime Sahouria, D.D.S., was the recipient of a resolution from the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors during Give Kids a Smile Day on Friday, Feb. 3 in her kid-friendly office located on the corner of Medical Center Drive and Snyder Lane.
Sahouria and her staff checked 50 children during the day for infections, oral health and performing x-rays.
Sahouria gives up time and the usage of her office doing pro bono work and therefore the Board of Supervisors chose her as the 2017 Give Kids a Smile dentist. Dignitaries visiting the office were Supervisors Susan Gorin, David Rabbit, James Gore, Lynda Hopkins and Shirlee Zane.
Sahouria and her staff do ongoing visits to schools and speak about oral health for students from kindergarten through the second grade.
Even if they get to visit the schools only once through the year, one time is better than nothing at all. Last year they visited 15 schools and reached out and promoted dental health to about 600 students. Sahouria says because oral infection is such a very serious problem with infection being chronic and bacteria destroying mouths, just by merely talking about it doesn’t solve the problem.
Give Kids a Smile Day in Sonoma County is an annual event that takes place during the first weekend in February. The purpose of the program is to provide free dental services to under privileged children in the county between the ages of 0-18.
In the past 10 years, Give Kids A Smile Day has provided dental services to more than 5,000 children who would not have had any access to dental care.
This year the GKASD took place at 11 clinics and private dental offices in Sonoma County. There were more than 200 volunteers seeing more than 400 children for preventative dental services and sealants and provided over $300,000 of dental services free of cost with Jaime and staff providing over $15,000 worth of pro-bono work.
Sahouria has associated herself with the Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County and their purpose is to partner with low-income families and individuals to help them achieve economic and social stability, to help build community and to advocate for social and economic justice by building relationships with clients and communities.
Cory Spencer is the event chairperson for Give Kids A Smile and has been the coordinator for eight years.
A 2016 Sonoma County telephone survey found that 100 percent of residents said dental health is important for their children yet cost seems to be the determining factor in getting the needed dental care.
The Sonoma County Dental Health Network has completed the first strategic plan to achieve the goal of 75 percent of cavity-free kindergartners by 2020 to help children get started on a lifetime of dental health care.