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Middle School Kids Receive School-Based Dental Care

Students at Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, can now receive preventive dental care every Wednesday at the Happy Smiles School-Based Dental Clinic.

Dental hygiene students from Doña Ana Community College provide preventive oral health care to students at Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, every Wednesday.

Students at Lynn Middle School in Las Cruces, New Mexico, can now receive preventive dental care every Wednesday at the Happy Smiles School-Based Dental Clinic. Staffed by New Mexico State University (NMSU)/Doña Ana Community College (DACC) dental hygiene students, the on-site clinic provides middle school students with prophylaxes, fluoride varnish and sealant application, nutritional counseling as related to oral health, oral hygiene instruction, and referrals to local dentists.

The initiative is the brainchild of Elmer E. Gonzalez, RDH, MBA, PhD, dental hygiene program director at NMSU/DACC, who has sought ways to integrate preventive oral health care services into Las Cruces Public Schools. After securing funding for equipment from Delta Dental of New Mexico, the clinic opened on April 3, 2019. The clinic anticipates treating at least five children per day.

“These programs provide excellent opportunities for dental hygiene students to expand their skills while providing services to the community. They not only learn better clinical skills and bedside manners but equally important develop a sense of community,“ says Gonzalez.

 

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. May 2019;17(5):13.

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