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January 26, 2007

Dental hygiene students to "Give Kids a Smile" Feb. 2

ULM’s dental hygiene department will team with the Northeast Louisiana Dental Association at Riser Elementary Feb. 2 to “Give Kids a Smile” from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The “Give Kids a Smile” program brings vital dental services to local underserved children. Screenings will be performed. Patients—many of them potentially receiving dental services for the first time—will also walk away with goodie bags, filled with items like toothbrushes, dental supplies, pencils, and stickers.

The American Dental Association (ADA) began "Give Kids a Smile" as a means of focusing attention on the large amount of oral disease affecting low-income families, particularly children.

As quoted from the Crest Dental ResourceNet website, "Tooth decay is the single most common chronic childhood disease…Underserved children suffer twice as many dental problems than their affluent peers. More than one-third of low-income children have at least one untreated tooth decay by age nine.”

And given the scope of the problem, the department of dental hygiene naturally lends its time, resources and location to help improve the situation. Students from dental hygiene already go twice a week while in session to treat patients at ULM’s Riser Elementary clinic as part of their focus on community building.

In addition to the children helped at "Give Kids a Smile," ULM students and the public may receive treatment at the dental hygiene clinic located in Caldwell Hall Mondays through Thursdays from 1 – 5 p.m. Students receive an initial screening appointment (that costs $3) to assess their dental situation. The total cost for further treatment that involves a complete cleaning is $30. Members of the public pay the same prices. Making an appointment is mandatory.

Please call (318) 342-1616 for more information or for appointments.

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