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Reading and writing and dental care

Kids get ready for healthy school year during event at LSU after-hours clinic

August 25, 2017

By Michelle Manchir

Dressed up for dental health: LSU Health New Orleans dental hygiene students exhibit the theme of the day by dressing as toothpaste, a tooth, the Tooth Fairy and a toothbrush. From left, Michelle Fazende, Katie Richard, Maddi Thibodeaux and Victoria Stein.
There was pizza and popcorn, puzzles and games, movies, balloon hats and — the main event — dental care at a back-to-school event the Louisiana State University Health New Orleans After-Hours Pediatric Dental Clinic hosted Aug. 14.

More than 40 children received no-cost dental exams and cleanings, learned about oral hygiene and walked away with a backpack filled with school supplies and toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss.

Dental and dental hygiene students, under faculty supervision, from the LSU School of Dentistry volunteered their time to provide the care to children at the event, which organizers said was meant to give the kids a chance to start the school year off strong.

Brush up on new skills: LSU Health New Orleans fourth year dental student Danielle Beaudoin helps a young patient learn appropriate oral health skills.
"Many who can't afford dental care simply go without, and this can have a negative impact on school performance," said Dr. Janice Townsend, associate professor and chair of pediatric dentistry at LSU Health New Orleans. "Children with poor oral health miss more days of school, have difficulty concentrating and often have trouble socializing. LSU Health New Orleans and Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children: The Foundation of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (a sponsor of the event and the clinic) share a common goal of finding ways to increase access to care so more children realize the benefits of good oral health."

The after-hours clinic opened in 2016, offering exams, X-rays, sealants and other restorative services. The clinic is open two evenings a month from 5-8 p.m. and one Saturday per month, so children who need a dental home can have one.

For more information about the clinic visit