One out of every five kids between the ages of 5 and 11 has at least one decayed tooth. On Thursday and Friday, you can get free dental care for your children at Florida SouthWestern State College during the Give Kids a Smile event.
Having good dental hygiene isn’t just about having a pretty smile—it can also prevent children from suffering pain and discomfort later on. Along with educating parents and kids, the FSW dental hygiene program is offering free dental services to kids ages 3 to 17. FSW students will provide dental cleanings, x-rays, sealants and exams.
Karen Molumby, director of FSW’s dental hygiene program, says this service benefits both the students and the patients.
“It does provide them the skills that they need for private practice,” Molumby said. “As well as it gives the children in our community the opportunity to learn about their oral health, the student is there to help identify what they could do better, how to best direct them in brushing and flossing, how to educate their parents.”
Experts say that while brushing and flossing are obviously important for kids, so is staying away from sugary drinks and foods that can cause cavities in the first place.
“You have lots of inquisitive questions that the child may present the student,” Molumby said. “We treat a lot of patients, but the kids [are] always a special time for all of our students to be able to interact with a population that they may be familiar with or not familiar with.”
The Give Kids a Smile event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday and Friday in Building A of FSW’s Lee County campus, located at 8099 College Parkway. Appointments are on a first-come, first-served basis. FSW plans to treat around 130 children.