Free Dental Health Screenings

Reporter: Sally Delta

Lynchburg, VA - Some area dentists took time out of their busy schedules to give free dental screenings Saturday. It's part of the Dental Health Fair at E.C. Glass High School. It used to be an annual event, but this is the first time they've had it in 15 years.

In honor of National Dental Health Month, Dentist Shannon Carson took her day off to go back to work.

"We're noticing with the change in economic issues that people need more availability in seeing dentists," said Carson.

That's why Carson and so many others decided it was time to bring the health fair back.

"A lot of people need to be more educated about how to brush their teeth, floss their teeth, what are healthy foods, and how that they can change their diet to make their teeth healthier," said Sandy Williams, dental careers instructor, Lynchburg City Schools.

The most common problem dentists see - cavities; it's something Carson says could be easily avoided.

"It's making sure you're eating right, fewer sodas, less sugar, making sure you're brushing about twice a day and flossing," said Carson.

The screenings weren't only for educating the public, but dental students as well. Sandy Williams teaches a dental career course for Lynchburg City Schools. Some of her students came in to help with the screenings.

"They're getting real world experience by teaching other people and learning to apply the skills they have learned so they can move on into dental offices," said Williams.

"We're helping and learning so I can do this in the future," said Chantel Molina, E.C. Glass High School.

"Your smile is the first thing everyone notices, and you don't want to have a bad smile so I just want to help people out," said Katelynn Hall, E.C. Glass High School.

The screenings checked for basic oral health; no work was actually done. Each patient did leave with a full evaluation as to the condition of their teeth so they'd know if they needed work done.

Organizers say dental health care is a huge need in the community, so they're glad they were able to help out.

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