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Idaho State University

ISU-Meridian dentists provide free dental care on Give Kids a Smile Day

February, 9, 2012

Most kids don’t mind missing a few hours of school. But for a visit to the dentist? Sure, says 12-year-old Seniya Ogden of Boise.

Feb. 3, Seniya and her siblings—Kyler, 11, Malani, 7, and Cortlyn, 4—spent about an hour at the Delta Dental of Idaho Dental Residency Clinic at Idaho State University-Meridian, 1311 E. Central Drive.

It was Give Kids a Smile Day, sponsored by the American Dental Association and an opportunity to educate children and parents about the importance of good dental health.  Participating youngsters received free dental examinations, teeth cleanings, X-rays, sealants, fillings and fluoride treatments.

Dressed in blue jeans and pink tennis shoes, Seniya said caring for her teeth is important to her.  ISU dentist Tim Carpenter gave the sixth grader high marks for her dental care, taking the last few minutes of her exam to review proper flossing technique.

“She’s a great patient,” said Carpenter, one of four dentists who work at the clinic.

Seniya’s younger sister, Cortlyn, sat patiently as dental hygienist Christa Roberts polished the youngster’s teeth and gave her tips on how to keep her smile in top shape.
“I have a new molar coming in,” Cortlyn exclaimed.

“That’s a big-girl tooth,” Roberts told the youngster. “You’ll have it forever if you take care of it… until you’re 100 years old.”

Parents Heather and Nathan Ogden say brushing, flossing and trips to the dentist are an important part of family life. Oral health affects the health of the entire body, said Heather Ogden.

Since 2005, the ISU clinic has provided more than $52,000 dollars in free dental care to underserved children in the Treasure Valley on Give Kids a Smile Day.

Dental disease is second only to the common cold in prevalence among children, according to the ADA. Pain from untreated dental disease makes it difficult for children to eat, sleep and pay attention in school.

The Delta Dental Residency Clinic at ISU is a full-service clinic for adults and children. Most forms of insurance are accepted, and fees are based on income.  The phone number is 208-373-1855.