The Moore American

Local News

July 24, 2013

Dentists offer kids free exams

MOORE — Fifteen Norman and Moore dentists are offering free dental exams for elementary-school-aged children before they go back to school this fall.

More than 200 dentists across Oklahoma are providing free screenings at their offices for children July 31 to help them avoid tooth decay that could distract them from their studies.

“If children have toothaches or decay, it can take them away from learning and getting an education,” said Kristen Wolever, a dentist at Norman Smile Center, which is participating in the free screenings.

Tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children ages 2 to 5 and half of those ages 12 to 15, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tooth decay is common yet preventable and can cause pain, dysfunction, difficulty concentrating and school absences that affect a child’s ability to succeed.

“I think there’s a perception out there that some people feel they don’t need to go to the dentist until there’s pain,” said Lynn Means, executive director of the Oklahoma Dental Association.

Twelve states require children to get some type of dental screening before they can enroll in school, according to a report released in 2008 by the Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors.

In 2009, members of the Oklahoma Dental Association decided to try to introduce similar legislation, according to a Statement by Timothy Fagan, the association’s president. The legislation drafted was modeled after California’s policy, which requires children entering kindergarten or first grade to receive oral health assessments from licensed dentists before they can enroll in school.

However, the response from other organizations earlier this year made members of the Oklahoma Dental Association decide not to pursue the legislation, Means said.

“So we decided to go the volunteer route instead,” Means said.

Which is why the association is encouraging dentists across the state to offer free screenings for children.

“Thousands of hours of school time are lost every year because children are in pain (from dental cavities),” Means said. “Dental cavities is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases ... The only one more prevalent is the common cold.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Heathplex Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS opens lecture series

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental

    July 23, 2014

  • ‘Magic Kids’ get royal treatment

    A Moore elementary student is among three metro children honored by Oklahoma City radio station, KMGL-FM, as “Magic Kids” for their outstanding contributions to their families, schools and local communities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Toothpick holders’ convention coming

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collectio

    July 23, 2014

  • Gang member charged in shooting

    An Oklahoma City man police identified as a gang member was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon Thursday after sh

    July 23, 2014

  • Angels protect us

    A co-worker unpacked a box of copy machine paper from a cardboard box and got a nasty paper cut. Because the source was cardboard, it was deeper than most and the bleeding was difficult to stop.

    July 23, 2014

  • Southmoore student wins gold at National FCCLA

    More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country recen

    July 23, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community back together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new.

    July 22, 2014

  • Panel explains forced labor system

    Many topics were discussed over the course of three days during the 2014 Oklahoma Judicial Conference, but one of the newest issues

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore shut out of prevention aid

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter. Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide