The students of Bruin Point Elementary in East Carbon were gifted on Thursday morning with the treat of great oral health. Big Smiles Dental is a traveling dentist program that visits schools and gives free dental work to students.
According to bigsmilesdental.org, over 51 million school hours are lost each year due to poor oral health. The website also says that because low-income children have less access to dental care than other children, they are 12 times more likely to miss school due to oral health problems.
The program is approved by the ADA and CDC. Big Smiles Dental works with local dentists to give service to local schools in need. This program also costs absolutely nothing to the participating schools.
Bruin Point Elementary Principal Dina Wise heard about the program through the school health nurse and thought it was a great idea that gets the students into the dentist without losing much class time. Wise also saw it as beneficial for the children to have their teeth taken care of so that they are able to focus more on learning.
The program is grant-based and took place at Bruin Point Elementary one other time. During that time, 19 students were treated. The school saw the benefit of not only treating the students but reaching out to the other families in the community and letting them know about the program. Children from ages 12 months to 18 years are eligible to have dental work performed. Bruin Point Elementary has scheduled the program to come back again in 2017.
“We are committed to do what it takes to help our kids and families,” Wise said.