NorthShore Health Centers to Offer- Discounted Dental Services for “Give Kids a Smile”

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Featured

Published on January 16, 2019 with No Comments

NorthShore Health Centers, along with thousands of dentists across the country, are taking time to help underserved children get the oral health care they need.

On Friday, Feb. 1, NorthShore will be offering discounted dental service from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This promotion is part of “Give Kids a Smile Day,” a program launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003. Over the last 13 years, more than five million underserved children have received free oral health services due to this program.

As part of NorthShore’s “Give Kids a Smile” services, uninsured children up to age 17 will receive a free dental exam, free x-rays, free cleaning, a free electric spin brush and toothpaste, and a free fluoride treatment.

NorthShore Health Center is a not-for-profit community based health and education center providing medical, dental and eye care services to everyone including the uninsured and underinsured community of Northwest Indiana. Its mission is to ensure that each individual has a medical home and access to the highest quality healthcare, regardless of gender, age, race, social or cultural standing and/or ability to pay.

Visit us at any of the four dental locations at 6450 U.S. Highway 6 in Portage, 3099 Central Ave. in Lake Station, 6091 Broadway in Merrillville, or 6920 Indianapolis Blvd. in Hammond. Space is limited; call today to schedule an appointment.

For more information about NorthShore Health Centers, visit www.northshorehealth.orgor call 219-763-8112.

Create Great Dental Habits for Kids

5 Ways Parents Can Help

By StatePoint

That first wiggly tooth indicates a new childhood milestone — loss of the first “baby” tooth. While this is often a time for cute photos and a visit from the tooth fairy, it should also be an opportunity to reinforce the importance of good oral care with children so that their new permanent teeth stay healthy and last a lifetime.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases among children in the U.S., but it is also preventable. This finding by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics) highlights just how important it is to help kids take good care of their teeth.

“The sooner the better when it comes to helping children understand the importance of taking care of their permanent (‘adult’) teeth. As children grow, encourage them to take more responsibility for their oral hygiene, but continue to supervise them until you’re comfortable with their routines,” says Dr. Michael Hahn, national dental director for Cigna.

Dr. Hahn recommends the following tips for a healthy mouth.

• Attack plaque: Let your child know that “plaque” leads to tooth decay — it’s like your tooth “getting sick.” Plaque has bacteria and acids that can hurt a tooth’s outer enamel and cause tiny holes that lead to cavities.

Brush for two minutes, twice a day. Help your child understand what two minutes actually “feels” like by playing a favorite song for that length of time, or use a kitchen timer, smartphone alarm, hourglass of sand or stopwatch.

• Floss: Daily flossing is important too. Since flossing may be tricky for small hands, help them until about age 10.

• Snack smart: Healthy teeth rely on smarter snacks. Fruits and vegetables can help reduce plaque buildup. On the other hand, sugary and sticky foods can remain on teeth for hours, providing time for bacteria and acids to begin their damage. If your children drink soda, encourage the use of a straw so less of the liquid coats their teeth.

• Visit the dentist: Regular dental checkups are essential. These visits can detect problems when they are still small and are less complex to treat. Getting used to seeing the dentist in childhood will help keep this important practice going as an adult.

• Reward positive behavior: Praise your child for doing a good job. You know your child best — offer that “something special” as incentive, particularly when the dentist gives a great report.

“It’s easier to teach a younger child good habits, than to break an older child of poor ones. Encourage your kids to take good care of their teeth. You’ll put them on track for strong, healthy teeth that will last a lifetime,” says Dr. Hahn.

For additional dental tips, visit cigna.com/dental-resources.

For detailed questions or concerns about a child’s oral health, it is important to consult a dentist.

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