Dental students give area kids a reason to smile

Shiny Smiles

Twenty-four students from local elementary schools are sporting healthy grins today thanks to the Shiny Smiles for All Clinic, run by Niagara College’s dental programs.

The students, from five Welland schools including St. Mary’s, Glendale, Matthews, Princess Elizabeth and Plymouth, arrived at Niagara College’s dental clinic this morning, and were paired with second-year Niagara College Dental Hygiene students. Each child received a complete dental examination from Dr. Mario Filice, as well as x-rays, scaling and polishing, oral hygiene instruction and a fluoride treatment. They were also assessed for further treatment. The children involved have been identified by Niagara Region Public Health as being at risk.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to combine hands-on learning with an important lesson in community outreach,” said David Veres, dean of Health and Community Studies. “We’re grateful to Niagara Region Public Health, our community partners and members of the local dental community who have joined us in meeting this important need in our community.”

The Shiny Smiles for All Clinics are run with the ongoing support of the Welland Neighbourhood Project, the Kiwanis Club, Dollarama, Tim Hortons, and Starbucks. Many individuals, including Dental Hygiene student Katie Spanton, bus chaperone Kim Green, Dr. Filice and NC faculty Jenn Turner and Jeannette Kulik have been instrumental to the project’s success.

Now in its seventh year, Shiny Smiles for All is a dental outreach program designed to assist children who may not have access to dental care. A further preventive and assessment clinic will be held on March 20, and children who require fillings will be treated at a clinic April 19, where a group of local dentists will volunteer their time.

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