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A decade of dentistry: Blinn College Dental Hygiene Program hosts 10th annual Give Kids a Smile

Blinn Dental Hygiene students provide free dental care to almost 100 local children

April 11, 2018

For the 10th consecutive year, a crowd of excited children shuffled around the Blinn College Dental Hygiene Center in Bryan, braving the x-ray machine, getting their teeth cleaned, and trying their hand at proper tooth brushing techniques.

Since 2008, the Blinn Dental Hygiene Program has organized and hosted Give Kids a Smile, a national initiative of the American Dental Association that provides exams, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, tooth prints, fluoride, and oral health education to local children without access to regular dental care. This year, 29 Blinn Dental Hygiene students teamed with approximately 30 local dentists, hygienists, assistants, officer managers, and Blinn faculty to provide free dental services to almost 100 children at the 10th annual Give Kids a Smile event.

“Give Kids a Smile helps so many people in this community,” said Dana Wood, Dental Hygiene Instructor. “Participants are given quality preventative care, and are connected with local dentists for further treatment. This is not only a wonderful resource for people who do not have access to proper dental care, but gives our students the opportunity to serve their community.”

Give a Kid a Smile

The Blinn Dental Hygiene Program provided approximately $25,000 in services during this year’s event, which included preventative care, sponsorships, and donated supplies from local dentists and businesses. Since the inaugural program in 2008, Give Kids a Smile has provided almost $200,000 in preventative care.

The Brazos Valley Dental Society, Brazos Valley Dental Hygiene Society, the Bryan and College Station school districts, and local dental professionals have been instrumental in making the event a success. Several local dentists volunteer at the event and offer restorative treatments at no cost to the family.

In addition to the dental services, students educate children and their parents on proper oral care, including how and when to brush their teeth and the importance of regular dental visits.

“It is very fulfilling to be able to help the many families in need of dental care in this community,” said Bethany Long, a second-year dental hygiene student. “My classmates, instructors, and I are very passionate about Give Kids a Smile, and it is amazing to see the amount of support the program receives from the community each year.”

Give a Kid a Smile

In addition to the Give Kids a Smile program, the Blinn Dental Hygiene Program offers year-round discounted cleanings and screenings for the general public at the Blinn Dental Hygiene Center, located at 301 Post Office St. in Bryan. The sessions, which are $20 per person, include dental cleanings, x-rays, examinations, fluoride, oral cancer inspections, and sealants. For more information, call: 979-209-7283.

Registration for May Minimester, Summer I and II, and Fall 2018 is open for currently enrolled students. Registration will be available for all students beginning Wednesday, April 11. For enrollment or financial aid information, visit www.blinn.edu.