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.
We also see eligible children ages 7-17 years of age in the orthodontic program. We coordinate children 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. Complicated procedures are performed at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva.
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.
In Spring 2010, second, third and fifth grade students from Cherokee Elementary school participated in the “Seal for Real” program. The students were seen at the CIHA Dental Clinic and received dental sealants – thin plastic coatings that when placed on the chewing surfaces of back teeth help to protect teeth from cavities.
“We are quite pleased with the success of this program,” states Mellie Burns, Registered Dental Hygienist. “A total of 151 students received 490 sealants. I can not think of a more efficient way to provide such a wonderful service.”
Something else took place. The children had fun!! When asked about this Ms. Burns replied, “Fear is one of the main reasons people choose not to go to the dentist. Hopefully these children will remember the positive experience they had and will be relaxed about their next appointment.”
While there students also participated in “Be Smart, Don’t Start” a health education session about the dangers associated with tobacco use.