More than 110 area children recently left Owens Community College with brighter, healthier smiles courtesy of the college’s participation in the nationwide Give Kids A Smile Day.
Give Kids A Smile Day, a national initiative by the American Dental Association, 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.
|Owens dental hygeine student Rechawn Fair, of
Toledo, provides dental treatment to 10 yr. old
Lexi Krotzer, of Woodville, during "Give Kids a
Smile Day". (Photo courtesy of Owens
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.
“It’s a lot of fun to help children who are in need of help,” said Owens dental hygiene student Nicole Buchanan, of Genoa, “Give Kids A Smile Day provides a great opportunity for students like myself to share what we have learned and to give back.” Buchanan plans to pursue a career as a dental hygienist after graduating from Owens and obtain her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene.
“I really appreciate all the volunteers who take the time to help others on this day,” said Trisha Truman, of Curtice, whose three children obtained services at Owens as part of the community outreach effort. “My family has attended Give Kids A Smile Day for the past several years. We are extremely thankful to everyone who makes this such a great event.”
The dental experience at Owens left 5-year-old Lea Wauford of Northwood, “in the pink.”
“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.”
Services available as part of “Give Kids a Smile” included dental education and screening, X-rays, dental cleanings, limited restorations and dental sealants. In addition, students from Owens’ health program provided informational 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 offers a fully accredited, competency-based curriculum. 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 – a 20-chair clinic staffed by dental hygiene students and supervised by licensed dental professionals. Appointments are available during the fall and spring semesters for a $30 fee.