Dental hygienists, students get practice giving children free cleanings in Four Corners
SAN JUAN COUNTY, N.M. – Dozens of children in the Four Corners Tuesday got their pearly whites the care they needed. It wasn’t just about providing care, but teaching future dentists at the same time.
“We get to help them through their dental needs and whether they’re in pain or whether they just need a cleaning, we try to take care of most everything they’ve got going on,” said Farmington Dentist Gene Hilton.
It is the 21st anniversary of Give Kids A Smile Day at San Juan College. Dental students and practices around the community come together to give about 50 children from the ages 5-12 free dental care.
“As far as screening our patients, we don’t have any kind of barrier for kids coming in and getting care,” said Hilton.
Supplies and donations towards this event come from a number of sources around the community and the Give Kids A Smile Foundation. Not only was this event a great turnout, but it is also a win-win situation.
“The community, the kids, get the treatment that they need. For the doctors in the community, it’s a great opportunity to get together. Then, for the students, of course, they get the opportunity to work with the docs in the community that they may be getting employed by,” said Julius Manz, director of the San Juan College of Dental Hygiene Program.
Farmington dentist Hilton has one last tip for all to help keep those teeth clean:
“I like to teach people about the frequency of exposure, and that’s a lot for the little kids to understand, but what it means. You know, eating a bag of skittles is a lot better for your teeth to eat it all at once, than to snack over it for a couple of hours,” said Hilton.