Spring 2006 Table of Contents
News From the College
Keeping Kids Safe: NYU Provides Free Dental IDs for New York Youngsters

Aleksandr Baron, '09, takes a bite impression during Fit Kids NYC, a daylong health fair sponsored by the New York City Youth Health Coalition.

NYUCD is now providing free dental IDs for all children screened at community outreach events as a way of safeguarding youngsters who might get lost, or worse, be abducted. To create the IDs, pediatric dental students and residents use a new technique that imprints the child's bite on a soft silicon wafer. The wafer also collects DNA from saliva and saves the child's scent. The wafer is then packaged and given to parents along with a Polaroid photo and a form listing vital information, such as hair and eye color.

"This is one way we can help parents keep kids safe, as well as healthy," says Ms. Jill Fernandez-Wilson, a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry who coordinates the Pediatric Outreach Program. Dental IDs are also provided free-of-charge at the NYU Pediatric Clinic and on the Smiling Faces, Going Places mobile dental van.