Partnership Brings Free Dental Care to Kids | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Partnership Brings Free Dental Care to Kids


Elementary school kids in Jackson will be receiving free dental screenings today and tomorrow.

Approximately 400 students in two of Jackson's elementary schools will be receiving dental screenings today and tomorrow through the Colgate "Bright Smiles/Bright Futures" mobile van. The van, which is in Jackson in partnership with the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation and the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry, will be at Brown Elementary School today and at Smith Elementary School tomorrow between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

"Dental healthcare plays a crucial role in your overall health. Introducing proper dental care to children early on, like brushing, flossing and annual dental visits, will transfer to healthy habits later," said Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Executive Director Primus Wheeler in a statement. "We realize that children may not have access to a dentist office, so we are happy to work with UMMC Dental School and Colgate to bring this service to them directly."

Students will see one of four dentists from the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry during the dental health screening. The estimated value for these procedures is $45.00.

"Bright Smiles/Bright Futures promotes oral health education and prevention to underserved children around the world," according the Colgate Web site. The program expects to reach 100 million children by 2010.

Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatric and Public Health Dentistry at UMMC, Dr. Neva Eklund, knows the needs of children when it comes to good oral health, first-hand.

"We are blessed to be a part of this nationally recognized corporate partnership for the health of the children of our local community," Dr. Eklund said in the statement. "These children will be offered access to a comprehensive and continuously accessible dental home within the UMMC system. This is our responsibility as pediatric oral health care providers."

Previous Comments


Sounds good! Its wonderful when health care professionals volunteer their time to meet the needs of our underserved. There was a story on Mississippi Public Radio this morning about a similiar effort to be conducted in the Delta. I assume the screenings will only be a written list of what dental work needs to be done. Does anyone know if any actual dental "care" (cleanings, fillings, etc.) will be administered over and beyond the "screenings". Will anyone from the Health Department, or other public/private agencies be there to provide information on available resources to proved actual dental services? Hmmmm..I think I'll give UMC a call and fill everyone in!


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