|
|
Examiner
  • Making a Difference: Dental for Kids helps put smiles on kids' faces

  • February – and National Children’s Dental Health Month – might still be a month away, but StandUp Blue Springs’ Dental for Kids program has been in place for nearly a decade.

    • email print
  • February – and National Children’s Dental Health Month – might still be a month away, but StandUp Blue Springs’ Dental for Kids program has been in place for nearly a decade.
    Dental for Kids provides dental care, at no cost, to qualifying children who attend school in the Blue Springs and Grain Valley school districts, as well as students within these boundaries who are of preschool age, are homeschooled or who attend private school on scholarship. Referrals are made through schools or social service agencies.
    More than 20 dentists and dental specialists in Independence, Blue Springs, Raytown and Lee’s Summit donate their time or provide significant reductions for specialty work. Private and corporate donations, the annual Princess Party and corporate grants provide the funding.
    Wanda Quibell, care coordinator for Dental for Kids/StandUp Blue Springs, and Carol Journagan, interim executive director for StandUp Blue Springs, discussed the difference that the program is making in Eastern Jackson County.
    1. What difference have you seen Dental for Kids make in the past?
    Quibell: Since I’ve been here, I have talked to parents. I’ve had them in tears, on the phone: “I just cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate you guys coming forward – I didn’t know what I was going to do.”
    I had one Mom call me and her child’s mouth was bleeding. The school nurse says, “I know who to call. I know who can help.” We have some dentists who know if it’s an emergency, they’ll get the child in the next day. There are some people in the community who are really struggling, and I think we make a difference.
    2. What do you hope the provided dental care will mean for the children in the long run?
    Problems with dentition have been associated with so many other health problems, including some severe like diabetes and heart problems. I would like to help to make a difference to the overall health of the children in our community. Additionally, who doesn’t like to see a child smile and be proud of their smile? It’s a fabulous thing to know that you are a small part in that. Their self-esteem goes up. There is a boost in their ego. They become different people.
    3. How can the greater community educate themselves and others about the need for dental care in children, especially those without medical insurance or Medicaid access?
    Quibell: That’s a good question. We try to put the name out there so that people are aware that we exist, but it’s just a matter of wanting to know that we exist. They have to want to know that there is a need in the community.
    Page 2 of 2 - Journagan: Own the awareness. Don’t be in denial. Accept that teeth are part of being human. I think there are a lot of people who are still unaware that it’s a problem. We’re available. We’re here, and all the systems are in place – all we need are the parents to say, “Thanks, Dental for Kids.”

        calendar