BIG RAPIDS – The teeth of a child are precious and the designation of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month aims to further drive that point home to parents and their children.
Helping the cause is Ferris State University’s Student American Dental Hygiene Association whose members are reaching out to the community through the annual Children’s Dental Health Fair from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 27. The fair is open to children age 13 and younger, and is being held in Ferris’ Dental Hygiene Clinic, located in the Allied Health Sciences Building, 200 Ferris Dr.
Participants are eligible for free exams, X-rays (for qualifying patients), sealants and fluoride treatments.
“It is a fun way to help educate the public about dental health and give back to the community,” said Ashley Theobald of Iron Mountain, SADHA president. “I am so thankful for the participation of local businesses and dentists for their support in making this event really special every year.”
However, this fair is not all about good teeth, exams and treatments. Organizers anticipate a lot of smiles from participants. The fair also includes games, prizes, snacks, face painting and educational table clinics, Theobald said.
SADHA has been actively involved in a number of activities to promote good dental hygiene. The student group decorated a display case in FLITE as a way to inform people about the importance of dental health and routine care for children. The organization also works closely with local schools to provide free dental care for 4-year-old children involved in Focus on Fours.
Annette Jackson, Dental Hygiene Clinic operations supervisor, and Kathleen Harlan, assistant professor of Dental Hygiene and Medical Imaging, serve as SADHA co-advisors and have worked with Theobald and other students to organize this month’s events.
Through NCDHM, the ADA estimates its message about the importance of oral health has reached millions of people around the country. The organization believes that developing good practices at an early age and scheduling regular dental visits help children establish good habits that could lead to healthy teeth and gums through adulthood.
For more information about NCDHM, visit http://www.ada.org/5578.aspx.