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Oklahoma City Indian Clinic > In The News > Oklahoma City Indian Clinic fights cavities one smile at a time

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic fights cavities one smile at a time

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic fights cavities one smile at a time

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic holds Give Kids A Smile® event in February.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK —  Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit clinic providing health and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma, held its fourth annual Give Kids A Smile®  week-long event in February with nearly 90 young patients given free oral health services.

February is National Children’s Dental Health month and nearly one-in-four children under the age of five already have cavities, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many children enrolled in Medicaid receive no dental services throughout the year.

Give Kids A Smile® event is held annually to:

  • Provide free, easily accessible dental services to qualifying individuals
  • Raise awareness of the epidemic of untreated dental disease occurring locally and nationally
  • Create local, public and private partnerships to increase access to oral health care to solve this crisis

“Preventive care is critical to maintaining good dental health and overall wellbeing, and we will continue to participate in efforts to help our patients,” Mona Farzaneh, DDS, said, OKCIC Dental Director. “Oral health is connected to total health, so it is important to educate children and parents about proper dental care to help prevent tooth decay and other serious dental issues that can arise from inadequate care.”

The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile® program was launched nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Each year, about 350,000 to 400,000 children benefit from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers nationwide.

OKCIC is offering these tips to help keep your child’s teeth healthy year-round:

  • Brush for two minutes, twice a day.
  • Limit between-meal snacks. If kids crave a snack, offer them nutritious foods.
  • If your kids chew gum, make it sugarless. Chewing sugarless gum after eating can increase saliva flow and help wash out food and decay-producing acid.
  • Monitor beverage consumption – Instead of soft drinks all day, children should also choose
  • water and low-fat milk.
  • Help your children develop good brushing and flossing habits.
  • Schedule regular dental visits.

About Give Kids A Smile®

The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile® program is one of the world’s largest oral health charitable programs. Launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003, Give Kids A Smile® is an access-to- care endeavor designed to encourage parents, health professionals and policymakers to address the year-round need for oral health care and education for all children. Each year the Give Kids A Smile program supports approximately 350,000 to 400,000 children from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers nationwide in providing free oral health care services including exams, fluoride treatments, sealants, fillings, crowns and extractions, to more than 350,000 children from low-income families across the country. To find out more about Give Kids A Smile, visit www.adafoundation.org/GKAS.

About Oklahoma City Indian Clinic

Oklahoma City Indian Clinic was established in 1974 to provide excellent health care and wellness services to American Indians in central Oklahoma. The clinic staff cares for more than 18,000 patients from over 200 federally recognized tribes every year. American Indians can receive a range of services, including medical, dental, pediatrics, prenatal, pharmacy, optometry, physical fitness, nutrition, family programs and behavioral health services. For more information, please call (405) 948-4900 or visit www.okcic.com.