UALR CI Future Smiles Dental Clinic Celebrates National Children’s Dental Health Month

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM). Now in its 63rd year, NCDHM’s focus is to raise awareness about the importance of oral health to both parents and children. This year’s slogan is “Get a Gold Medal Smile” and UALR CI’s Future Smiles Dental Clinic is doing its part in stressing the importance of developing good habits at an early age and helping children get a good start on a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

UALR CI’s Future Smiles Dental Clinic is spending the month outfitting even the tiniest of patients with dental sealants. Dental sealants are thin plastic coatings that are applied to the grooves on the chewing surface of the back teeth. Since most decay in children and teens occurs on these surfaces, the clinic is focusing on this procedure as a preventative measure to combat tooth decay. Future Smiles is Arkansas’ only elementary school-based dental clinic. The clinic has three chairs and is coordinated by UALR Children International in partnership with the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Little Rock School District, the Arkansas Department of Health, the Heart of Arkansas United Way and the UAMS School of Dental Hygiene. The clinic is staffed with a dentist, dental assistant, a clinic manager and Dental Hygiene students from the University of Arkansas Medial Sciences.

Future Smiles is a full service dental clinic and provides comprehensive dental care to children on Medicaid and those without insurance in the partner elementary schools. Because the clinic is located on school grounds, they have become a part of the children’s everyday lives. A regular trip to the dentist is no longer a scary ordeal, but a short visit with a familiar friend. Unlike with a traditional dental clinic, students here are excited when their turn comes to visit the dentist, which makes the work of instilling good oral care habits that much easier.

Tameka Riley
Communications Consultant
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Posted in: Event

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