Dental Hygiene students brighten smiles of children in need

By Hanna Pollock

The Dixie State University Dental Hygiene Program embraced the University’s “active learning. active life.” mantra by hosting the tenth annual Give Kids A Smile event earlier this month. By providing children who have limited access to oral care with free services, the program helped brighten the smiles of children in need in the St. George community.

Partnering with the Dixie Dental Society, Southern Utah Dental Hygienists’ Association, and Henry Schein Dental, faculty and student volunteers from the DSU Dental Hygiene Program provided 41 children with free examinations, cleanings, radiographs, sealants, restorations, and fluoride treatments. The value of the provided services exceeds $16,500. Additionally, dentists who volunteered from the community gave 11 children vouchers for free continued comprehensive dental care.

“There is often a gap in dental care for children who are not eligible for Medicaid or do not have access to insurance,” Brenda Armstrong, assistant professor of dental hygiene, said. “We were thrilled to participate in this event to help meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”

This hands-on opportunity was a cross-campus effort, as students from Dixie State’s Spanish Department served as translators to ensure patients and their parents understood the process and received the dental care they were expecting.

DSU Dental Hygiene students regularly contribute to the community by providing quality oral care, under faculty supervision, for a discounted price at the DSU Dental Hygiene Clinic. The clinic is open to the public and hours are scheduled to coincide with each academic semester. Dental hygiene students have extensive training and have demonstrated competency in clinical services. For appointments or more information, call 435-879-4900 or email dhclinic@dixie.edu.