Edgewood students receive free dental screenings
In observance of National Children's Dental Health Month, the Health Science Center Dental School, Edgewood Independent School District and supporting partner Methodist Healthcare Ministries collaborated to bring more than 600 second graders from 15 Edgewood elementary schools to the dental clinic for free oral health screenings Feb. 1 and 8.
Building on the Dental School's longstanding relationship with the Edgewood ISD, organizers wanted to maximize the number of children evaluated. In the past, Dental School faculty and students visited schools but were only able to see about 20 students at a time. So for the first time, the children were brought to the Health Science Center.
The clinic gave the children the opportunity to have a positive experience with dentists. "This was a non-threatening visit. We evaluated the children's teeth, helped raise their awareness of oral health care and taught them how to take care of their teeth," said Dr. Gary Guest, director of predoctoral clinics in the Dental School.
Dental School faculty, staff and students and second-year dental hygiene students gave students complete oral screenings, including fluoride rinses, application of tooth sealants and instruction on oral health care. This was the first visit to a dentist for many of the students.
Students took home packets filled with stickers, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Dental School staff will send parents and school nurses follow-up reports for each child and recommend follow-up treatment if necessary.