Area Head Start kids experience going to the dentist
MILWAUKEE – The Marquette University School of Dentistry held a Meet Your Dentist day for children from a Milwaukee-area Head Start program Thursday, Oct. 20 at the school’s north side clinic location, 210 W. Capitol Drive, Milwaukee.
Children had the opportunity to interact with dentists and Marquette dental students in a fun environment. In addition to small group learning activities with Marquette dental students, the children sat in the dentist chairs and interacted with the dentists one-on-one.
“Children that have early positive experiences in a dental office are more likely to return for continued care,” said Dr. Brian Hodgson, assistant professor in pediatric dentistry.
Later this year, Marquette dental students will conduct sessions with the parents of participating Head Start children to reinforce the information the children receive.
“Lack of dental care can have a profound impact on children and their performance in school,” said Dr. Albert Abena, the clinic’s director. “Many of the children who come to the clinic have dental issues that can significantly impact their self-esteem and well-being.”
Last year, MUSoD’s north side clinic expanded to see children on Thursdays. About 18 children come for treatment each week. For MUSoD students, this is an opportunity to work with children as well as learn about acute dental problems first hand.
As part of the school’s patient-centered curriculum, Marquette dental students participate in clinical rotations throughout Milwaukee and rural Wisconsin — clinical sites include MUSoD’s main clinic, the north side clinic, a south side clinic and four community clinics in Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire and Stevens Point.
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