Sharing Special Smiles® at the Special Olympics
Thank you to a group of special UF College of Dentistry volunteers – 11 students, one resident and one faculty member – who volunteered for the Fall Classic Special Olympic Games in Orlando at Disney’s Wide World of Sports.
The group performed dental screenings, fluoride applications and gave oral hygiene instructions to more than 250 athletes at the games, and was coordinated by Enrique Bimstein, C.D., a professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry.
Special Smiles® is part of a program initiated by the Special Olympics in 1996 called “Healthy Athletes.” Healthy Athletes includes Special Smiles, Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Fit Feet and other medically-based programs that provide screenings and education for Special Olympics athletes, many of whom have limited access to health care.
The Fall Classic is the second largest Special Olympics event held in Florida each year and is the state championships in the sports of softball, bowling, power lifting, roller skating, target bowling (a lead-up event for those athletes not yet ready for traditional bowling) and gymnastics for over 1,200 Special Olympics athletes from Florida.