A student checks out the mirror after receiving a fluoride treatment on her teeth from Dr. Karyn Boltz.
May 6 was Shine Your Smile Day at Hawthorne Elementary School, which hosted a Mobile Dentists/Smile Program, organized by School Nurse Tressa Rudik-Vargo. A Smile Doctors team set up a mini dental office in the building to provide dental examinations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, x-rays and sealants (if necessary) for children whose families opted to participate. They are endorsed by the American Dental Association, and visit Hawthorne, Cherrington and Blendon Middle Schools every six months.
According to their website (www.mobiledentists.com/for-schools/the-need):
- Each year, over 51 million school hours are lost due to poor oral health.
- Tooth decay is the most common childhood disease.
- Only 25 percent of Medicaid-eligible children get any kind of dental care.
- Only 20 percent of dental-care professionals provide care to people with Medicaid.
- Three out of every five children are affected by tooth decay.
- 16 million children lack access to basic dental care.