Dentists at School | God's World News
Dentists at School
News Shorts
Posted: April 08, 2024
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    Dental hygienist Mary Davis examines Amber Warner’s teeth at the Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, New Hampshire. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
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    Amber Warner shows off her teeth after a dental exam. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
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    Clayton Warner holds a mirror as dental hygienist Mary Davis examines his teeth. (AP/Robert F. Bukaty)
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Kindergartner Amber Warner gets her teeth checked by a dentist for the first time. She’s not in a dentist’s office though. She’s tucked away inside the teachers’ lounge at a New Hampshire elementary school.

The five-year-old sits back on what looks like a beach chair. She wears a pair of dark sunglasses. Dental hygienist Mary Davis checks her teeth. With a tiny syringe, she applies dental sealants to keep Amber’s teeth protected.

“Close down and bite your teeth together,” Ms. Davis says. “Bite down like you are biting down on a hot dog or a cheeseburger.” After that, Ms. Davis flosses Amber’s teeth. The whole visit takes just 15 minutes.

Dentists recommend kids and grownups get their teeth checked every six months. But during the pandemic, many kids didn’t get their dental care started. During that time, a lot of people got out of their usual routines, brushing and flossing included. Data shows that nearly half of all U.S. children don’t receive regular dental care. That can lead to cavities quickly. Why have a mouthful of cavities when cavities are totally preventable?

To fix the problem, portable dental clinics have popped up in schools like Amber’s. Many thousands of American kids get dental care this way.

Bringing dentists to school seems to help. But the challenge is keeping it going. School-based dental clinics need money to work. Programs often have to stop when donations run out.

But Amber will likely get to keep coming to the school dentist in first and second grade. The New Hampshire program has enough money to last at least three years.

I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul. —  3 John 1:2