February 22, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 8
Members of the Idaho State University Student Chapter of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association have received top national honors for an upcoming community project, Give Kids a Smile on Feb. 26-27, to provide underserved children with oral health care at no cost.
Under the guidance of ISU Assistant Professor Jacque Freudenthal, ISU dental hygiene students were awarded two National Community Service Awards sponsored by Tom’s of Maine, totaling $10,000 dollars, at the 2005 and 2007 annual sessions of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Students worked with the local health department and local dental professionals and transformed the initial project into $25,000 worth of services to the underserved children of Southeast Idaho. Students also created corporate partnerships by connecting with manufacturers who were willing to donate material and supplies for the project.
On Feb. 26 and 27, local children once again will be receiving dental services as a part of the national Give Kids a Smile Day. Children from low-income or underinsured families will be provided with a cleaning, oral and dental examination, x-rays, sealants (if indicated), oral health education, a fluoride application, and a referral to a volunteer dentist as needed for restorative care at no charge for a limited time. The services provided at ISU are part of the efforts of an estimated 35,000 dental professionals nationwide who are mobilizing.
“Giving service in the community is a great aspect of our education and our future career, says senior dental hygiene student,” Catherine Hyde.
The students are looking forward to seeing the children after months of preparation.
“It is a privilege to help children who are in need and who would not otherwise receive care,” added classmate Jennifer Schumaker.
The Idaho State University dental hygiene department, Idaho District VI Health Department, and the ISU Pocatello Family Dentistry will be providing services from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26 and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the ISU Dental Hygiene Clinic located on Martin Luther King Jr. Way across from the Eli M. Oboler Library on the ISU campus. If restorative care is needed a referral will be made to local volunteer dentists for an appointment at a later date.
Eligibility is based on WIC income guidelines; however, children do not have to qualify for WIC. Documentation of income should be available at the time of the appointment. The event is on a first come, first served basis. To schedule an appointment, contact Dana Solomon at 239-5256.
Pain from untreated dental disease can prevent a child from properly eating, sleeping, speaking and paying attention in school, affecting growth and development. Give Kids a Smile is an outstanding service because it provides children (who would not receive care) with dental care at no cost and it provides awareness about oral health.
In addition to Give Kids a Smile Day, the ISU Dental Hygiene Clinic offers preventive oral health care services and treatment of periodontal gum diseases to children and adults for nominal fees. To schedule a regular appointment, call 282-3282.