Save a Smile Program

The Save a Smile Program was created in the 1990s by the British Columbia Dental Association (BCDA). In 2009, the BCDA worked with UBC to home the Alec Gunning Save a Smile Endowment Fund at the university. The endowment aligns the goals of supporting oral health care for children in BC from low-income families with student learning opportunities and research initiatives associated with children’s oral health.

Dr. Kavita Mathu-Muju is an Associate Professor and the UBC Faculty of Dentistry Save a Smile Program Director. She initially practiced as a general dentist, serving Indigenous communities, and later completed a post-doctoral program in pediatric dentistry. With her research and clinical practice focused on pediatrics, Dr. Mathu-Muju knows first-hand the importance of providing dental care to all children.

“No child should have to suffer from dental disease because they don’t have access to timely dental care. Save a Smile has been a pioneer in ensuring all children in BC receive the oral healthcare they deserve. UBC Dentistry is proud to be an integral part of this special program and in promoting the interconnection of our students with the community as future oral health care professionals, educators, advocates and researchers.” —Dr. Kavita Mathu-Muju

If you would like to support the Save a Smile Program with a charitable gift, please visit