Dental students give ‘smiles for veterans’ with free oral care

VALHALLA — In honor of Veteran’s Day on Monday, the Touro Dental Health hosted its first ever “Smiles for Veterans” program where over 50 veterans were provided with free oral screenings.

“Anything that is given to any veteran is appreciated. We don’t go around saying, ‘You owe us.’ We don’t say that. But it is nice to be appreciated for what we’ve done,” veteran Sam Riti said.

To get in the American spirit, the dental school dawned red bandanas with white stars and their blue uniforms, dressed the part to serve the veterans who served our country.

The students will ask the veterans about their medical history, feel around their head, neck and lymph nodes for abnormalities. They also use x-ray to check for cavities.

The school members were happy to host the event because most veterans do not get full oral coverage.

“Veterans do so much for our country and they’re the reason we’re even here enjoying ourselves every day at dental school,” dental student Sabrina Mellusi said. “We kind of just want to give back to them in any way that we can.”