Special to The Sun
Dr. Kari Bender, Dr. Matthew Holloman, Dr. Krista Jones, Dr. Phillip Kierl, Dr. Peter Kierl, Dr. Shannon Lewis and Dr. Mary Martin will be joining more than 200 dentists across the state as they offer free screenings to Edmond elementary school children at their practices on July 31 for Back to School with a Healthy Smile.
This new Oklahoma Dental Association program will help combat poor oral health among Oklahoma children. More than 200 dentists across the state have signed up to provide free dental screenings to elementary school children at their individual offices in hopes that they can help parents gain knowledge about their child’s current dental health.
Parents are encouraged to make an appointment for a free screening by contacting one of the participating dentists listed on the ODA website at www.okda.org.
“Oklahoma dentists are giving free dental screenings because we want Oklahoma children to start the school year off on the right track,” Dr. Timothy Fagan, ODA President said. “The dental community realizes that more than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illness and hopes that free screenings will be a solution to this problem.”
The Oklahoma Dental Association recommends that children visit the dentist at least twice a year for a dental exam and a dental cleaning. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report, dental decay is among the most prevalent of all childhood diseases, second only to the common cold. Early detection of tooth decay is vital so that your child’s teeth will remain healthy, thereby reducing emergency visits to the dentist, avoiding unnecessary pain and keeping treatment costs low. Left untreated, dental decay can worsen — causing significant tooth pain, eating problems and can even prevent children from focusing in school.
“During the end of July many Oklahoma parents will begin preparing their children for school to be back in session,” Lynn Means, ODA Executive Director said. “We know that it may be easy for parents to overlook one of the most important ‘to do’s’ on their back-to-school list — scheduling their child’s dental checkup. ODA member dentists are committed to making sure that Oklahoma children have everything they need to start the school year right.”
Although a dental screening is not a dental exam and doesn’t include a professional dental cleaning or x-rays, it does provide an opportunity to evaluate a child’s brushing habits and overall oral hygiene. This is important because unlike other diseases, decay can be 100 percent preventable.
The Oklahoma Dental Association believes that following a healthy preventative dental program is the key to overall health. Be sure to include a visit to the dentist as part of your back to school “to-do” list.
About the ODA: Founded in 1907, the Oklahoma Dental Association has a proud membership of more than 1,500 dentist members and is headquarters in Oklahoma City. The Association was established to help foster an awareness of the obligations and responsibilities of the dental profession to society, to help advance the art and science of dentistry and to promote public health and health services in the State of Oklahoma.