Free dental service brightens children's smiles at Owens PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Thursday, 07 February 2013 10:45
Katie Nelson, Owens Dental Hygiene student, positions a light before cleaning the teeth of Brooklyn Heath, 5, from Walbridge. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Over 110 area children recently left Owens Community College with pearly white teeth and bright smiling faces courtesy of the Dental Hygiene program as the academic institution participated in the nationwide Give Kids A Smile Day.
Owens' Dental Hygiene program, in collaboration with the Toledo Dental Society, was among thousands of organizations that provided free dental services and educational outreach for children with limited or no access to care across the country. The service was held on Friday.
"It's a lot of fun to help children who are in need of help," said Owens dental hygiene student Nicole Buchanan of Genoa, who intends on pursuing a career as a dental hygienist after graduating from Owens and obtaining her bachelor's degree in dental hygiene. "Give Kids A Smile Day provides a great opportunity for Owens students like myself share what we have learned and to give back."
Give Kids A Smile Day is a national initiative by the American Dental Association, which is dedicated to focusing attention on the epidemic of untreated oral disease among disadvantaged children. Held each February in conjunction with National Children's Dental Health Month, Give Kids A Smile Day provides free oral health education, screening and treatment services to children from low-income families across the country.
"I really appreciate all the volunteers who take the time to help others on this day," said Trisha Truman of Curtice, whose three children attended Give Kids A Smile Day. "My family has attended Give Kids A Smile Day for the past several years. We are extremely thankful to everyone who make this such a great event."
For 5-year-old Lea Wauford of Northwood, the dental experience at Owens resulted in somewhat expected and unexpected gifts.
"I lost my first tooth today," said an excited Wauford. "I'm going to put it under my pillow for the tooth fairy. They gave me a pink princess toothbrush. Pink is my favorite color."
Dental services available for free throughout the event included dental education and screening, X-rays, oral prophylaxis (cleanings), limited restorations and dental sealants.
In addition, Owens students from the health program provided educational presentations for parents and children.
Also assisting with the event were School of Health Sciences students within the academic areas of dental assisting, massage therapy technology and medical imaging technology.
The college's dental hygiene program provides more than 40 students with a fully accredited, scientifically current and competency-based curriculum annually. Students receive classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience in the Dental Hygiene Clinic, while preparing to sit for the national, state or regional exam in dental hygiene. Owens' program also offers dental services to area residents through its Dental Hygiene Clinic.
The 20-chair clinic is staffed by dental hygiene students and supervised by licensed dental professionals at Owens, and appointments are available during the fall and spring semesters for a $30 fee.

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