Dentists promote oral health at schools
Volunteers offer free screenings for kids at two Waianae sites
Volunteer Oahu dentists and staff members are visiting Maili and Kamaile elementary schools in Waianae today for the second year to improve the children's oral health.
"We must again thank Hawaii Dental Association's Dental Samaritans for choosing the Leeward Coast as the location to run this program," District 1 Councilman Todd Apo said in a news release. "It is through voluntary efforts like these from our state's professionals that we will continue the revitalization of West Oahu."
The volunteer dentists joined with Apo and the Crest Healthy Smiles 2010 national program for free dental screenings of the children's teeth from 9 to 11 a.m.
They also will distribute free toothbrushes, toothpaste and informational packets.
Apo said the program's success last year "and the impact that it had on our keiki made it worth all of us getting together again. ... The program will help our community through its children -- providing a foundation for their healthy future."
Dr. Russell Masunaga, who directs the Dental Samaritans, said the event "is a great opportunity to affect real change in the state of oral health in our community by calling attention to the oral health epidemic and the need to educate families and improve access to dental care.
"We are grateful that Crest Healthy Smiles 2010 is committed to help us help underserved communities by providing us with the dental and educational tools to make real changes."
Crest Healthy Smiles 2010 is a national program "that provides substantive, long-term solutions to the oral health crisis facing America's youth," Diane Dietz, North American marketing director of Crest, said in the news release.
"Through partnerships with dental community leaders like Hawaii's Dental Samaritans, we will improve the oral health of underserved communities," she added.