Community Dental Care serves up smiles for kids
Donnie Hall, 5, was all smiles following his checkup at the CalvertHealth Community Dental Care in Lusby — he had picked out a green Slinky from the toy chest and was full of energy.
One of three of Loretta Hall’s grandchildren with appointments, Donnie was at his second visit to the dentist, but it was the first for 3-year-old twins Noah and Nico.
“I knew [the clinic] was available and accepted our insurance,” said Hall, who had previously worked at CalvertHealth Medical Center, in a press release. “It’s a wonderful resource and close to home.”
Donnie said he likes coming to the dentist and that he is not afraid. “[The hygienist] showed me how to brush my teeth and it’s fun to go up in the [treatment] chair,” he said in the release.
In addition to checking Donnie’s teeth for any problems that could be addressed by the dentist at a future visit, Marilyn Torney, a registered dental hygienist, applied a mint fluoride varnish, which coats the teeth and helps prevent tooth decay.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child’s first dental exam is recommended at the time the first teeth erupt and no later than 12 months of age.
“It’s important for children to come for a dental checkup after their baby teeth come in so that we can check for any development problems, and educate parents on proper oral hygiene and proper diet for their children,” said Dr. Ana M. Palou, a dentist at the clinic, in the release.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that tooth decay affects U.S. children more than any other chronic infectious disease and that nearly 20 percent of children may have untreated tooth decay.
CalvertHealth Community Dental Care is a grant-funded program formed in 2009 to improve access to dental care for benefit eligible families and those who are uninsured or underinsured. Services include exams, cleaning, fluoride and sealants, as well as basic restorative care and extraction for patients of all ages, the release states. In 2012, through a partnership with the American Legion, the clinic found a permanent home in at 11840 H.G. Trueman Road, Lusby, on the public bus route.
Left, Noah Hall, 3, is ready for his first checkup with Marilyn Torney, a registered dental hygienist. Above, from left, Noah, Nico and Donnie Hall of Lusby were all smiles following their dental checkups at CalvertHealth Community Dental Care in Lusby.