Free Dental Care Provided to 50 Children at Save a Smile Event
The oral health team, which is part of The Center for Children's Health led by Cook Children's, teamed up with Tarrant County College in Hurst to provide free dental care to around 50 children.
The Save a Smile program helped provide 50 children with teeth cleanings and checkups at the Save a Smile event Friday, Feb. 24 at Tarrant County College campus in Hurst.
Once per semester, Save a Smile patients receive free treatments from hygiene and dental assistant students at the college while professional dentists also volunteer their time at the event.
The patients received treatments including scaling, polishing, X-rays, fluoride treatment and sealants, plus education on taking care of their dental health at home. If patients needed further treatment, they were identified and will receive referrals for services from volunteer dentists.
Save a Smile has more than 86 volunteer dentists who provide children with comprehensive treatment as needed, whether it’s fillings, surgery, root canals, orthodontics, etc.
Tonya K. Fuqua, D.D.S., is the Director of Child Oral Health under the Center for Children’s Health, Children’s Oral Health Coalition and Save a Smile program.
“We’re excited to partner with such an awesome community organization like Tarrant County College Hygiene School,” Dr. Fuqua said. “We’re seeing about 50 kids today that need our help.”
Depending on the severity of the problem, the age of the child, translation requirements and financial/insurance status, a referral is made to the appropriate volunteer dental provider. Dental care is given in the volunteer dentists' private offices, free of charge to the families. Children with CHIP or Medicaid are connected with a Medicaid/CHIP provider selected through their coverage.
“Usually when we contact the families, the first question they ask us is ‘how much money do I have to pay’ and we tell them this is completely free,” said Lourdes Ramos, Community Health Worker. “Volunteer dentists will volunteer their time and work and it’s completely free.”
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A Healthy Mouth Can Lead to a Healthy Body: Rules of 2
- Brush 2 times a day
- Brush for 2 minutes
- Visit the dentist 2 times a year
For even more benefits, floss once a day and limit sugary drinks and snacks.
For more information go to the Center for Children’s Health www.healthysmilesforkids.org