Dr. Owens DMD gives 9-year-old Jomar Paredes a checkup during Free Dental Day.

PCHS brightens the smiles of community kids

The first day of spring break was not the only cause for kids to smile brighter on March 10. It was Peninsula Community Healthcare Services (PCHS) free dental day for kids in Kenai.

PCHS Dental provided children up to 12 years of age the opportunity to receive a free visual oral exam that included a fluoride varnish and/or sealant.

“Jake Owens DMD examined all the kids and let them know how their teeth were looking,” explained Summer Hall, PCHS Operations Assistant. “The event was in cooperation with Henry Schein and the American Dental Association which is a nationwide event that gives an opportunity for kids across America to have their teeth treated and examined by a dentist.”

For the 15th consecutive year, Henry Schein Inc., the world’s largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, animal health and medical practitioners, played a central role in expanding access to oral health care for underserved children in the United States by sponsoring the American Dental Association Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile program, the largest oral health charitable event in the world according to Hall.

Regular dental examines is not only a contributing factor to a child’s overall health and happiness, but through early detection can reduce healthcare costs.

“It’s a great opportunity for parents to bring their kids in and have their teeth looked at, so that hopefully we catch things before they turn into a tooth ache or infection. When kids don’t make it in regularly and then develop a toothache, they come in hurting and scared and it’s hard for a dentist to give them a positive experience. So this is a great way to catch issues while they’re early and can be fixed easily. We wanted to reach out to kids that may not get in to see a dentist regularly and we had a very successful day,” said Jake Owens DMD at the PCHS Kenai Clinic.

According to Dr. Owens it’s a misconception that just because baby teeth may become the property of the tooth fairy someday that dental care can be put off until the permanent teeth come in.

“Even baby teeth can cause serious infections and pain for kids that can keep the whole family up all night until they can get to a dentist. So it’s always better to have regular exams and to be preventative when smaller, easier work like fillings can be done and avoid a painful experience,” he said.

It was reported that this year, nearly 350,000 underserved children received free oral health screenings, education and treatment at nearly 1,500 locations across the country from nearly 40,000 dental team volunteers, including 10,000 dentists, using supplies from 3,000 kits of essential oral health care products donated by Henry Schein and 29 of the Company’s suppliers.

Hall says PCHS plans to participate again next year in the in the program.

“We hope to do it around the same time of the year again next year and hope to keep giving kids a smile across our community for years to come.”

More in News

A young volunteer chases three piglets named Mary Hamkins, Petunia and Sir Oinks-a-lot through a race during the pig races at the Kenai Peninsula Fair on Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Kenai Peninsula Fair canceled this year

Cotton candy, carnival rides and racing pigs will have to wait for… Continue reading

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
State reports 30 new cases; hospitalizations reach new high

The cases include 28 residents and two nonresidents.

photos by Megan Pacer / Homer News 
                                A youth rider takes a turn riding a bull calf during the 60th annual Ninilchik Rodeo on Saturday, July 4 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The rodeo lasted throughout the July Fourth holiday and celebrated a return to the event’s roots.
Riding high in Ninilchik

Ninilchik Rodeo celebrates 60 years with events new and old.

A closed sign is posted at a retail store shuttered due to the new coronavirus, in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to vote on relief funds for businesses, nonprofits

CARES Relief and Recovery Grant funds would be rolled out in two phases.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Case count dips after 5 record days of positive cases

Alaska has had 1,338 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

An adult, female bald eagle was rescued from a tree Saturday in Juneau. The eagle was taken to Alaska Raptor Center in Sitka. (Courtesy Photo | Kerry Howard)
Juneau bald eagle rescued on Fourth of July

Injured but conscious, the raptor will get treatment in Sitka.

Robin Richardson, right, and her coworker Ellen Paffie from Georgia get ready for the night shift at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York on May 7, 2020. (Photo courtesy Robin Richardson)
Soldotna nurse joins COVID-19 fight at New York hospital

Richardson cared for 53 critically ill COVID-19 patients. Only two of those patients lived.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
COVID-19 week in review: Case count jumps; new hospitalizations, deaths reported

The current average positivity rate for all tests conducted is 1.39%.

‘Crowning jewel’

Iron Mike statue unveiled at Soldotna Creek Park

Most Read