FORT SMITH- The Dental Hygiene program at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith will sponsor free afterschool dental clinics Feb. 12 and March 12, 2019, for area children through the UAFS Smilz Kid’s Clinic.

Preventive services offered by the clinic include a dental cleaning and exam, X-rays, fluoride treatments and sealants to prevent cavities. All dental hygiene services are provided by UAFS dental hygiene students under the supervision of UAFS dental hygiene faculty and staff.

“The After School Smilz program has provided valuable clinical enrichment for students in the UAFS dental hygiene program,” said Pam Davidson, grant writer and assistant professor of dental hygiene at UAFS. “While providing much-needed care to children who have limited dental care resources, it also strengthens the students’ abilities to connect detection of dental disease with the importance of prevention and a better understanding of health disparities that exist for a substantial number of children in our area.”

Maricela Gonzalez, a senior UAFS dental hygiene student who has participated in the Smilz program in previous years, explained how the opportunity to connect with children in a clinical setting not only improves her understanding of dental procedures, but also the children’s. 

“This clinic has been very beneficial to the community, especially the younger 4-5 year olds who have never been to the dentist. I see how receptive they are with us when they are here, and the amount of treatment we provide to all these patients saves them a great deal of money. We hope this helps them get over any preliminary fear of dental care and that they will find a dental home and be happy to go.”

The free clinics are made possible through a grant from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas.

Appointment times will be available at 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. both days at the Pendergraft Health Sciences Center on the UAFS campus, located at 715 N. Waldron Road.

To schedule an appointment or to find out more information about the program, call the UAFS Dental Hygiene Clinic at 479-788-7270.

Story by: Rachel Rodemann Putman, Interim Public Information Director, UAFS NEWS

Photo by: Rachel Rodemann Putman, Interim Public Information Director, UAFS NEWS

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