Early education about caring for your teeth is important to life-long quality of life. Children's Dental works with daycare centers and schools to provide that information in an age-appropriate format, and provides dental screenings in the daycare centers and schools on the Qualla Boundary.
Once a year, near the beginning of the school year, we visit the schools and child care centers to provide free dental screenings, exams and fluoride varnish. Each parent/guardian is notified of the results of the dental screening. If your child needs further treatment and you are eligible to use the services at the Cherokee Hospital, you may schedule an appointment with the pediatric dentist, Dr. Joyce Biberica, at the Dental Clinic (497-9163).
We also see eligible children ages 7-17 years of age in the orthodontic program. We coordinate children's braces and surgeries, dental exams and treatment with the Cherokee Dental Clinic and Cherokee County Clinic. We determine eligibility, set up appointments, assist with paperwork; and provide cleanings, x-rays and fluoride varnish.
We are available to speak at civic and community groups, and we participate in health fairs, parents meetings and other health related activities held in the community.
Dental decay is the number one chronic disease among children, occurring 5 times more frequently than asthma. However, dental decay can be completely prevented! One way to help prevent this disease is to protect the chewing surfaces of back teeth with dental sealants.
In the Spring of 2012 the Children's Dental Program transformed the Science lab at Cherokee Elementary School into a mini dental clinic. For three days, fifth grade students were seen at the "clinic" and received a visual exam from a pediatric dentist, brushing and flossing instructions, dental sealants and a fluoride varnish application.
"We are quite pleased with the success of this program," states Mellie Burns, Registered Dental Hygienist. "A total of 61 students received 316 sealants, and they never had to leave school. It is our goal to continue this effort each year while increasing the number of children seen."
It's never too early to learn about taking care of your teeth. We regularly visit child care centers to educate and promote healthy dental care.
Learn more about good dental care by reading these articles (pdfs):
• Are You Prepared for a Dental Emergency?
• Sipping, Snacking & Tooth Decay
• Sippy Cups and Your Child's Teeth
• Mouth Guards: Kinds, Features & Proper Care