Local groups offer dental care for Give Kids a Smile DayWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Area children can receive free dental care Feb. 3 through the Give Kids a Smile program.
Give Kids a Smile is part of a nationwide program sponsored by the American Dental Association. Locally, the Toledo Dental Society has sponsored the event for nine years.
“The outreach of giving back to people who can’t afford dental services is important and near and dear to my heart,” said event co-chairman Dr. Shea Walkup of the Shadow Valley Dental Group. Eighty percent of childhood tooth decay is found in 25 percent of children, mostly from low-income families, according to a news release.
Last year, 450 area children received $700,000 worth of free dental care from 40 dentists. This year’s locations are filling up fast, Walkup said.
Most children receive a cleaning, an X-ray and a fluoride treatment at their appointments. Many children come back for their annual checkup.
Parents are often thankful for the dental care provided. “Parents are very grateful because they don’t have to try and find means they don’t have access to,” Walkup said.
Many dentists offer to continue the treatment if it requires more than one visit, Walkup said. One year he provided extra dental care to three children and paid for a limousine to take them to and from his office one day.
Give Kids a Smile will be at the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio, 2138 Madison Ave.; The University of Toledo Medical Center Dental Residency Program, Main Hospital, Clinic 2-A, 3000 Arlington Ave.; and the Owens Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic, 30335 Oregon Road, Perrysburg.
For appointments, call (419) 725-2522 for the Dental Center of Northwest Ohio and UT Medical Center Dental Residency Program. Call (567) 661-7294 for the Owens Community College Dental Hygiene Clinic. Dentists and hygienists will be available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 3.
Owens Community College will host a day of free children’s dental services on Feb. 3 during the nationwide Give Kids A Smile Day.
The services are for children ages 6 months to 18 years with limited or no access to care and will be available from 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. at the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, located in Health Technologies Hall, 30335 Oregon Road, in Perrysburg.
Appointments are required and can be made by calling the clinic at (567) 661-7294 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7294.
Services will include dental education and screening, X-rays, cleanings, limited restorations and dental sealants and will be administered by Owens’ dental hygiene second-year students, faculty and alumni as well as area dentists.
In addition, first-year students from the health program will provide educational presentations for parents and children.
On Feb. 17, Toledo Dental Society dentists and Expanded Functions Dental Auxiliary will provide restorative treatments, such as fillings and extractions, for children examined Feb. 3.
Give Kids A Smile Day is a national initiative by the American Dental Association held each February in conjunction with National Children’s Dental Health Month.
“Owens Community College’s Dental Hygiene program is excited to once again participate in such a worthwhile endeavor and provide dental services to individuals in need,” said Beth Tronolone, Owens’ chair of dental hygiene, in a news release. “Give Kids A Smile Day is also a wonderful opportunity to raise the importance and awareness of preventive dental care such as flossing, brushing and regular dental visits. Our goal is to give each attendee a positive dental experience and help them feel comfortable smiling again.”
Owens also offers preventative care and cleaning services to area residents for a $30 fee through its Dental Hygiene Clinic during fall and spring semesters.