As a part of the American Dental Association’s National Children’s Dental Health Month, Creighton University School of Dentistry will join several dental health clinics from around the Omaha area by reaching out to those in need and giving kids something to smile about.
Creighton’s 12th annual “Give Kids a Smile Day” will take place on Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. until noon. Creighton University’s junior and senior dental students, as well as the dental school’s faculty, will be caring for 100 children that are in need of treatment this year. Each year, school nurses and Creighton’s community partners work together to identify 100 children that are in need of the free care.
During Children’s Dental Health Month, dentists are encouraged to provide dental care such as x-rays, cleanings and fluoride treatments for uninsured children between the ages of 3 and 15. If more care is needed, follow-ups will be arranged by the set up of additional appointments. There are many clinics in the Omaha area that will follow up with the children that require further treatment, one of which is Creighton’s Dental School.
In addition to providing the x-rays, cleanings, and fluoride treatments, the dentists will educate the children on proper brushing techniques and dental hygiene in hopes that they will continue to take care of their teeth. Establishing good oral hygiene early on can prevent major problems in their future.
“The target [of “Give kids a Smile” day] is to help those in need,” said Dr. Gary Westerman, professor and chair of the Department of Community and Preventive Dentistry.
As a part of a Jesuit University, Creighton students are called to live out and act on the Jesuit values. Creighton’s mission, and one of these Jesuit values, is to serve others, and this event is an ideal example of how the Creighton community aids those in need. “Give Kids a Smile Day” reflects the values of Creighton’s Jesuit community. The community is reaching out to those in need and using the time and talents they are given to help these children.
Creighton’s website says the University’s mission is “to educate the whole person and leave the world a better place.” The dental students and faculty are using what they know and have learned about dental care at this institution to educate others and serve them as they are in need of care, leaving the world a better place.
Written by: Stephanie Tedsco