MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Several area children are showing off their teeth a little more after “Give Kids a Smile Day.”
WVU Dental Care hosted the annual event on Friday for around 100 children ages one to 17 from Monongalia and surrounding counties like Harrison and Marion.
Dental and dental hygiene students performed free exams and taught children how to care for their teeth.
“We go over oral hygiene instruction with the parents,” said senior dental hygiene student Carrie Brescoach. “We see what they’re doing at home and what they can improve. We go over nutritional counseling, how to avoid sugars and what to worry about with bottle feeding and sippy cups.”
For some patients, it was their first visit to the dentist.
“First year, when they turn one they should be here just getting affiliated with the dental office because lot of fear happens if you don’t bring them in,” said Tim Hoover, a fourth year student in the WVU School of Dentistry. “If they come in later, they could be nervous because it’s pretty busy in a dental office, so it’s good to get affiliated early.”
One parent said she saved $250 by bringing her children to WVU Dental instead of another office.
While it’s a learning day for the kids, the WVU students are learning as well.
“A day like today is a really good experience for us and gives us a little bit of practice of what it might be like in a private practice, working with dental students or even if you know we go on a community outreach,” Brescoach said.
“Pediatric dentistry it’s a specific field where some people are comfortable with it and some people aren’t so this is really good to get ready for seeing kids when you’re in private practices,” Hoover added.
“Give Kids a Smile Day” is an annual event that occurs nationwide in conjunction with the American Dental Association.