Bryn Mawr’s Harcum College Dental Hygiene Program Sets 2023 Date to Supercharge Kids’ Smiles
George Washington — one of the two honorees on President’s Day — may have suffered dental woes for most of his life, but participants in Harcum College’s Dental Hygiene Program are seeking to prevent the same misery in area kids. Its Sealant Day event (Feb, 20, 2023, President’s Day) will provide treatments and information to 6–12 year olds, without charge.
Free services will cover:
- Oral exams
- Sealants (protective coatings layered onto teeth)
- Fluoride treatments
- Dental healthcare instructions
Sealant Day will be held at the Cohen Dental Center on Harcum’s Bryn Mawr campus, 750 Montgomery Ave.
The services are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, regardless of income, with no other qualifying information necessary.
Families need only call ahead for an appointment by contacting the Cohen Dental Center at 610.526.6113. Appointments are being accepted for 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m., until all slots are full.
A Legacy of Service
Co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association, Sealant Day aims to prevent future tooth decay and cavities in children, as well as aid in overall oral health.
The tips, guidance, and care provided that day are intended to help children, families, and community members learn the value of oral care in their overall health and wellness.
The registered dental hygienists, area dentists, and Harcum dental hygiene students have been providing this annual free service to children for 15 years.
“Our students and faculty are devoted to promoting good oral health to parents and children in the local area,” said Jean Byrnes-Ziegler, Director of the Dental Hygiene Program. “Sealant Day is an important initiative for us to not only advance the clinical experience for our students but also to provide a much-needed community resource.”
Details on Sealants and Their Effectiveness
Sealants are coatings that fill the cracks and crannies of molar teeth and prevent bacteria from causing cavities.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 20 percent of U.S. children and teenagers have untreated dental decay by age 19, but only 43 percent of children have sealants.
Children without sealants have nearly three times as many cavities, and children in low-income families are less likely to have access to sealants. An estimated 100 million Americans have no dental insurance, which generally covers sealant placements.
The CDC says sealants prevent about 81 percent of decay two years after placement and continue to be effective for up to nine years.
They are also cost-effective. The CDC estimates that applying sealants to low-income children in school-based programs could save up to $300 million in dental treatment costs, as cavity fillings cost more to apply.
According to the American Society of Periodontology, oral health problems are linked to a variety of diseases and health conditions, including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. The use of sealants can decrease oral health complications, especially for cavity-prone children.
Participating in Sealant Day
Parents interested in enrolling their children for Sealant Day need only call the Cohen Dental Center for an appointment: 610.526.6113.
Appointments are being accepted for 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. until all slots are full. Harcum College will be open on Feb. 20 with a normal class and office schedule.
Kids who are perhaps nervous about participating in 2023’s Sealant Day at Harcum College’s Cohen Dental Center
may feel better better about accessing the Feb. 20, 2023, free services after “touring” the facility holding it.
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