Long Island, NY (PRWEB) February 05, 2014
--Dr. Grace Hsu joins in as Long Island Dentists Unite – Nassau County Dental Society, Suffolk County Dental Society, Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, Farmingdale State College School of Dental Hygiene, NYU School of Dentistry, Winthrop Hospital and North Shore LIJ Hospital
--Sponsored by Henry Schein, Co-Sponsored by Long Island McDonald’s and Jet Blue
--Generous Contributions by Project Hotshots, Starbucks and Patken Photographers
At the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City on February 7, 2014, an estimated 1,500 children from local low-income families will receive free dental services ranging from screenings, fluoride varnishes and sealants as part of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) national Give Kids A Smile® day. Dr. Grace Hsu and her staff at Long Island Dental Spa will be volunteering all day to help these families.
Children from underserved communities in Nassau County were selected and invited by their school’s nurses and principles to attend. Last year, more than 44,650 dental team members nationwide participated in Give Kids A Smile®, a program first held in 2003 by the ADA to provide care and raise awareness of the importance of access to dental care for underserved children.
“It’s heartbreaking to see a child’s smile destroyed by severe tooth decay,” said Dr. Joseph Brofsky, Give Kids A Smile Chair, Nassau County Dental Society. “Imagine not being able to eat, sleep and pay attention in school because you have a mouthful of toothaches. Some children have reached the point where the only alternative is a mouth full of crowns or pulling the teeth that can’t be saved. It’s tragic. Our state needs to do more to help children get the dental care they need.”
Nearly 1 in 4 children, aged 2 to 11 years, has untreated cavities in their baby teeth, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While poor diet and oral hygiene certainly play a role, cavities are actually caused by a disease called caries, which is five times more common than asthma. The National Institutes of Health report that 80 percent of tooth decay is found in just 25 percent of children, primarily from low-income families. Public health programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are supposed to help underserved children, but utilization rates are low.
“Many children enrolled in Medicaid receive no dental service throughout the year,” Dr. Brofsky said, “That number isn’t surprising when you learn that our state Medicaid program spends just 1.01% on dental services for children and adults. Dentists can’t do this alone,” says Dr. Brofsky. “With Give Kids A Smile, and with the help of Henry Schein, we can help some children get the dental care they need, but a one-day event will never be enough. Our event is not a cure all; it’s a wakeup call. Charity is not a health care system. Children’s oral health is everyone’s business—not just dentists. We need to participate as a community and as a nation.”
“We need to find the political will to solve this problem. It won’t happen overnight. But if enough people start working on it, it will happen.” Dr. Grace Hsu adds, "Our staff looks forward to this annual event because it touches our heart to be able to use our skills to help these children have a better self-image."
Before returning to their Schools, as part of the Give Kids A Smile Day, the children attending will view interactive puppet shows and video presentations regarding oral hygiene. They will be given backpacks with the tools needed for good oral health. Thanks to the sponsors they will be served healthy snacks and be given Happy Meal certificates good at Long Island McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald will be greeting the children as they arrive from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The museum will be open for the children to explore and some will get to ride the famous Nunley’s Carousel.
CONTACT: Brittany Winter, Phone: (631) 337-1603
Email: Brittany (at) bluchipmarketing (dot) net