Kids from Harwin Elementary have another reason to smile brighter thanks to students at the College of New Caledonia (CNC).
CNC promotes oral health for local children through its annual “Seal in a Smile” program, where dental assisting students provide the kids with dental hygiene information, and dental work like a polishing, fluoride treatment and, of course, application of a dental sealant.
Grade four students from Harwin Elementary were taking their turns in the dentist chair this morning (May 22) to seal in a smile.
“It’s all preventive and it’s an awesome opportunity for any of the children that are involved from the elementary schools,” says Lynn Barager, a community dental hygienist with Northern Health, who was on-site filling in the program coordinator, Kim Meise.
“Some of them have, maybe, never been to the dentist before so it’s new and could be a little scary. It’s an excellent first start because the students from CNC are very patient and very attune to making this a very pleasant experience for the children.”
The program is a collaboration with School District No. 57 (SD57), CNC, and Northern Health, and has been in operation for 19 years.
Each year, with the help of School District 57, Northern Health screens local schools and selects one for CNC dental students to work with.
Another aspect of the program is the dental assisting students also teach the elementary students dental hygiene information and oral health care information, alongside the preventative dental work.
“This is a wonderful collaborate program,” says Barager. “It works so well with all three partners and it’s just an amazing program and the kids enjoy it.”