"Miles of Smiles" mobile dental health clinic
Written by Alyssa Clark
The little mouths of Ottawa County are getting the much-needed dental care they desperately need through the Ottawa County Health Department’s Miles of Smiles mobile dental health clinic.
Already having over six years of success in serving public health, this program will cover a 22,000 mile parameter thanks to a new $10,000 grant this year from the Delta Dental Foundation. Targeting children as their target market of those they wish to serve, Miles of Smiles is known for making pit stops at local elementary schools in order to perform some quick cleanings and checkups.
Providing onsite dental services to both uninsured and Medicaid-dependent kids living within Ottawa county, Miles of Smiles makes habit of visiting elementary and middle schools, homeless shelters and Head Start programs in order to make sure that they are tending to as many kids as possible, as often as possible. Whether someone is in need of getting a pesky cavity filled or simply needs a routine dental exam, Miles of Smiles is there to help with all dental needs.
“Children’s oral health is important to their school success," Teri Battaglieri, director of the Delta Dental Foundation, said in a news release. “Dental problems cause children to miss too much time in the classroom. We’re supporting this program because good oral health will help ensure that kids show up for school every day healthy, pain-free and ready to learn.”
The service is operated by helpful volunteers who donated their time and energy to the mobile dental health project, as well as volunteer dentists and dental hygienists students. These volunteers and professionals provide services like: exams, radiographs, fluoride treatments, sealants, restorations and extractions. This not for profit organization specializing in both preventative and emergency dental care, developing a safe and healthy environment for kids to obtain their much needed dental health checkups and services.
Working with local schools in the area, Miles of Smiles goes into the classrooms of many second through sixth graders in order to educate about the importance of maintaining dental health and exposing the program to those who are not aware of it. A lot of the kids who end up coming to Miles of Smiles have never been to the dentist before, so the program works to ensure that these kids will receive preventative treatments as well as the education about dental health that they desperately need. Services include: preventative services, instructional programs, educational materials, toothbrushes and floss and maintaining healthy smiles.
If you or someone you know is interested in donating to the “Miles of Smiles” dental health program, visit the website at www.smilesmobile.org for more information or to make a donation today.
About the Author
Alyssa Clark is the Editor of Healthcare Global