Dental Hygiene Clinic Helps Give Kids a Smile
(February 11, 2010) The Armstrong Atlantic State University (AASU) Dental Hygiene Clinic was the site of Give Kids a Smile day on Friday, February 5. The annual event, sponsored by the Georgia Dental Association (GDA), provided free dental services to children 3-18 years of age.
Hundreds of families turned out despite the stormy weather to take advantage of the seven-hour clinic.
Kimberly Coulton, a faculty member in the AASU Department of Dental Hygiene, explained the motivation behind Give Kids a Smile Day.
"February is Children's Dental Health Month and the GDA coordinates events like these to give back to the community," she said. "The association and the AASU Dental Hygiene Department recognize that there is a need within our communities, particularly among lower income families due to loss or reduction of income and dental insurance. Our goal is to raise awareness about children's dental health."
AASU students and faculty volunteers performed cleanings, routine care and other services.
AASU student volunteer Donnisha Humphries stated, "This event has taught me that you can never give too much. I used to work at a children's clinic so I was aware of the need for children's dental care. Events like these are important because we're taking care of our community."
The demand for the free services peaked at around 2:30 p.m. with more than 200 children signed into the clinic.
"I am very pleased with the turnout—approximately 250 children came with their parents," said Suzanne Edenfield, AASU department head of dental hygiene. "The Georgia Dental Association did an excellent job gaining media coverage for the event."
Those patients in need of restorative services that were not seen that day were referred to the Savannah Volunteer Dental Clinic. Others needing preventive services that were not seen will be given appointments to return to the AASU dental hygiene clinic.
"Each of our senior students participated in the event providing preventive services and oral hygiene instruction," said Edenfield. "They were instrumental in providing these services to as many children as we did."