ISU-Boise Family Dentistry Provides Free Dental Care On "Give Kids a Smile Day"

February, 9, 2009

Boise - Nine-year-old Ethan Larson wore bright green sunglasses with heart-shaped lenses as dentist Tracy Toft, D.D.S., applied a sealant his teeth. Toft wore a purple hat that looked like part of a Renaissance costume.

And who says a trip to the dentist can’t be fun?

Ethan was one of 25 Treasure Valley youngsters who received free dental care Feb. 6  during Give Kids a Smile Day at the ISU Family Dentistry clinic, 2033 E. Summersweet Drive, in Boise.

This is the fourth year the Boise clinic has participated in Give Kids a Smile Day, a national event sponsored by the American Dental Association. The purpose is to educate children and their parents about the importance of good dental care, and to provide dental services for youngsters who have no insurance.

“I think this is an excellent program. The costumes made it so much easier for the kids,” said Ethan’s mother, Amy Larson.

 In an exam room next to Ethan’s room sat 6-year-old Mayerlei Molina. Dentist Renee Robertson, D.M.D., was applying a fluoride treatment to Mayerlei’s bottom teeth.

“Open wide. Looks great,” she said as Mayerlei assured her she brushes twice a day.

Since 2005, the ISU-Boise clinic has provided $41,579 in free dental care to underserved children in the in the Treasure Valley on Give Kids a Smile Day.

 “Dental disease is the most common childhood disease,” said dentist Tyler Shaw, D.D.S.  It’s important parents bring in their children early to preserve a child’s smile for years to come.”

Dental disease is second only to the common cold in prevalence among children, according to the ADA. Pain from untreated dental disease makes it difficult for children to eat, sleep and pay attention in school.

In addition to Give Kids a Smile Day, ISU-Boise Family Dentistry provides treatment and services to children and adults at a reduced fee based on income. To find out if you  qualify, call 208-331-0182.

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